For parents with children of dual citizenship – if your child was confirmed a Singapore Citizen at time of birth please read on…
In my 4.5 years working in the International School Industry in Singapore I have witnessed a number of updates in the systems, processes and laws the Ministry of Education in Singapore has put in place to protect both the fee – paying parent and the PEI – Private Education Institution Singapore (i.e. The International School).
Something that has always remained a constant, however, is the stipulation by the Ministry Of Education in Singapore, that a child who is confirmed a Singapore Citizen at time of birth is, in their seventh birth year eligible and must attend the first year of local Primary School – Primary one unless an exemption is approved by the MOE.
But why is this so? I have been asked by many a parent – especially those who are not Singaporean descent.
The answer is simple. Singapore prides itself on its’ nation of educated, disciplined individuals, a nation that holds it head up high during any National celebration, a nation that has travelled through the Singapore Education system.
The Singapore Government invests a large percentage of the country’s income on education and prides itself on the worldwide recognition it has received for its incredible reputation for producing some of the best mathematicians and scientists; an education system that is incidentally a tenth of the price of International Schooling.
The reason I chose this topic to write about today is because in the last 7 days I have been witness to a number of friends whose children attend a large International School in K1 (5 – 6 years old). They were informed that they had to find alternative Education Singapore for their children beginning January 2013 or January 2014 (respective of their children’s 7th birth year) as this is the year their children should begin Primary 1 in the local system. The reason? The Ministry of Education reserves the right at any point in time to pause International Schools applying fro MOE exemption for Singapore Citizens.
I therefore appeal to all of those parents who have children on dual citizenship but with “Singapore Citizen at time of birth” noted on their birth certificate. If the desire is to have your child/children in the International school system whilst residing in Singapore please do your homework with the schools you short list and always remain mindful that what was the original plan, may not be the end result and there is a nation wide reason for this.
Always keep in the back of your mind that there is a possibility that local school may be the only option in years to come.
For advice on this matter please contact Sarah@butterfly.com.sg