Starting in Singapore: Education in Singapore

school children Singapore places huge emphasis on the education system as human talent is the most valuable resource we have. Education is cheap, but where necessary, scholarships and bursaries are provided for needy students from primary to tertiary levels. Starting from the age of 5, a student typically goes through 2 years of kindergarten, 6 years of primary school, 4 years of secondary school leading to the GCE O Level exams or 5 years for the GCE N Level exams, 2 years of Junior College leading to the GCE A Levels, and 3 or 4 years of university education. Alternatively, a student may opt to take a 3-year polytechnic diploma course instead of Junior College - this does not preclude entry into University, but it does mean more competition since less poly grads get this chance. Many who are able choose to study abroad.

Government Schools

Children of expatriates residing in Singapore on employment passes or skilled work permits can apply for admission to government or aided schools. School fees in these schools are pegged at $3 a month for primary pupils and $5 a month for secondary students, and are much lower than those in private schools. Children whose parents are not employment pass holders, skilled work permit holders or permanent residents will need to apply for student passes through the Foreign Student Unit, Ministry of Education

Write to:
Foreign Students Unit, Ground Floor, Ministry of Education, Kay Siang Road
Singapore 248922; Tel: (65)-6470-9356, Fax: (65)-6476-0957

The parent/guardian will receive a Letter of Certification within seven working days of the submission of the application. By presenting the Letter of Certification, the parent may contact the school of their choice to apply for an assessment test, the dates of which are decided by the school. Acceptance by the school will depend on the results of the test and the student's age. If the student is accepted, the Foreign Students Unit will send a letter requesting a contribution to the Education Fund. Malaysians must contribute $3,000 for primary education, secondary and pre-university education, while parents of other nationalities must contribute $5,000.

The Student Pass can then be obtained from the Immigration Department with the Letter of Approval. (Foreign students can report for school admission only after obtaining the Student Pass.)

For admission to kindergartens, private schools, universities and polytechnics, applcations can be made directly to the school, and the contribution to the Education Fund is not required.

International Schools

Note: As well as the listing below, please check out our comparison between current international schools, which is subject to update as more schools submit their details. Have a look here.

American College
8 Queen Street, Level 3 & 4

Australian International School
1 Lorong Chuan
For more information please call (65) 6319 3777.

British Association of Singapore Nursery School
Tel: (65) 6469-4263, Fax: (65) 6463-2970

Canadian International School
5 Toh Tuck Road

Chatsworth International School
795 Upper Serangoon Road

Dover Court Preparatory School
Dover Road

Dutch School
65 Bukit Tinggi Road

Eton House (ages 2-7)
51 Broadrick Road

German European School Singapore
72 Bukit Tinggi Road

International Community School
3 Mount Faber Road

ISS International School (Lower School)
25 Paterson Road

ISS International School (Upper School)
21 Preston Road

Japanese School
95 Clementi Road

Lycee Francais De Singapour (French School of Singapore)
3000 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3

Overseas Family School
25F Paterson Road

Singapore American School
40 Woodlands Street

Swiss School
38 Swiss Club Road

Tanglin Trust School
Portsdown Road

United World College of South East Asia
Dover Road

Institutions offering U.S. degrees

The American College offers a 2-year Liberal Arts course which leads to an associate of arts degree from Broward Community College. All courses are also transferable to U.S. colleges.

8 Queen Street, #04-00, S'pore 188535

Informatics Computer School, a local institution which has centres in 23 countries, offers a wide range of Bachelor, Master and PhD courses from Australian, British and American universities like Curtin University and Andrews University in Michigan.

Informatics Building, 5 International Business Park
S'pore 609914

If you are interested in home study courses, try International Correspondence Schools, which offers courses from both the U.K. and the U.S, at The Regents Institute, 71 Robinson Road, #05-02, S'pore 068895

The Singapore Institute of Management offers Diploma, Bachelor and Postgraduate courses in a wide range of subjects from accountancy to health science to banking & finance.

41 Namly Avenue, S'pore 267616

Go to school or pay a fine of $5000

Well, for all we know, there ARE people who do not feel a need to send their children to school. Read.

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