ST Nov 22, 2007It is entirely possible for foreigners to enrol in local schools in Singapore - in fact, foreigners now constitute an ever-growing percentage of the student population in our primary schools, secondary schools, junior colleges and universities.
Jump in locals enrolling in international schools here
Smaller class sizes, less focus on exams and special needs teachers attract Singaporeans
By Sandra Davie
THERE has been a nearly fivefold increase in the number of Singaporean students in international schools here since 2002.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) said 975 Singaporeans are currently enrolled in some of the 40 international schools here, a big jump from the reported figure of 200 five years ago.
Their parents pay as much as $2,000 a month.
This growing number does not include Singaporeans attending the international arm of three local schools - Anglo-Chinese School (International), Hwa Chong International and St Joseph's Institution (SJI) International.
The attraction of the international schools, which cater mainly to children of expatriates, includes smaller class sizes, the broad-based International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, less emphasis on examinations and wider choice of second-language subjects.
Some parents whose children have special learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, also opt for international schools as they have teachers trained in dealing with special needs children.
However, parents have to seek the MOE's nod to enrol their children in international schools. Approval is given only for exceptional reasons, such as when the child has lived abroad for a long time ...
However, Singaporean citizens are not allowed to enroll in international schools in Singapore unless the MOE gives approval. And the MOE gives approval only for "exceptional reasons".
In other words, even if you are very rich and can easily afford the cost of sending your children to an international school in Singapore, you generally won't be allowed to do so.... if you hold a pink NRIC.
Such are the disadvantages of the pink NRIC.
.... the MOE stressed that the Government prefers Singaporeans to attend local schools for the purpose of building a national identity.
'Singaporean children should be educated in an environment that embraces the history and culture of Singapore, in particular, the multi-racial and multi-religious characteristics of Singapore,' said an MOE spokesman, who added that despite the increase, Singaporeans make up only 4 per cent of the total enrolment at international schools.