Local and International Schools in Singapore: Costs and Benefits, Lifestyle News
Singapore’s international schools receive a lot of praise, which may lead you to assume that a local school has less to offer your child. However, a more expensive education does not always mean a better education.
Both options have pros and cons, so it is important to do your due diligence before enrolling your child in elementary or secondary school. Read ahead to find out if an international or local school is best for you and your family.
Compare tuition fees
When it comes to international schools, tuition and setup fees are the bulk of the high price. A Singaporean citizen could easily pay 300 times the fixed fee at an international primary school compared to a local government-funded school.
These high fees don’t even include uniforms, lunches, bus transportation, laptops, or exams, among other possible costs.
Many local tuition fees are set by the Ministry of Education and therefore are extremely affordable. Between tuition fees and miscellaneous costs such as operating costs, you can plan pay around $ 130 on your annual primary school fees and as low as $ 250 on annual secondary school fees.
Even if you attend a non-government high school, you would pay up to $ 6,000 for a school year, which is about 502 percent less than the average cost of an international school of $ 36,149.
When to choose an international school
Even though international schools are expensive, the price is justified for many families. First, international schools have a reputation for providing a comprehensive and comprehensive education for your child.
Second, these schools are often seen as the best option for incoming expat families or Singaporean families who are planning to relocate to a foreign country and want to build a stable community through the international school network. Likewise, these schools provide an excellent base for students who wish to study or work abroad later in life, as the internationally recognized curriculum is designed for this.
With this in mind, it’s important to note that some international schools like the American School prioritize their own citizens, or non-U.S. Citizens who work for a U.S. company.
Therefore, Singaporean citizens may find it more difficult to enroll in the most popular international schools. However, this is not always the case, as many international schools not affiliated with a country have equal enrollment policies.
If cost is not an issue for you, then an international school is a primary consideration for your child, provided you are aware that the global factor of an international school can replace the local culture of Singapore.
In addition to the Western accent in many international schools, demographics such as 5% Singaporean schooling going to American school, for example, may not be ideal for you and your family. However, if a multicultural environment strongly appeals to you, then an international school is the right way to go.
When to choose a local school
While a local school’s selling point is its extremely affordable price, it can compete with international schools in other ways as well. The main difference you will find is the emphasis on math and science at local schools, rather than the flexible curriculum of an international school that emphasizes the humanities.
For the same reason, local schools are known to be more rigorous than a typical international school, which can be a benefit or a disadvantage for students in your family.
If you want your child to have a good knowledge of Singapore’s history and the many languages of its residents, a local school is a better choice than an international school.
Conversely, if you are concerned that your child is missing out on a full global curriculum, you will find that many local schools are moving in that direction. In fact, many local schools teach in English and some offer classes in Western languages like Spanish and French.
Singaporean citizens will find the best tuition rates at local schools. Just like with international schools, you will notice that local schools prioritize its citizens and neighboring countries.
Singaporean citizens, permanent residents and international students of Asean reap the most benefits by attending a local school. However, despite the nearly 6,000-fold increase in annual tuition fees, non-Asean students would end up paying 75% less at a local government-funded school than at an international primary school.
Expats, in this case, should also consider local schools, especially if it works best with their budget and commitment to the local culture.
A choice of costs and culture
Your choice between an international school and a local school comes down to two main factors: cost and culture. If you want your child to grow up in an international network, an international school can prepare them for this future. If high tuition fees are an issue, there is always the option of taking out an education loan which can be used to finance K-12 years.
Conversely, if you’d rather save money on your child’s elementary and secondary education, a local school can help you do that. Between a focus on math and science, as well as Singaporean culture, a local school provides an equally valuable education for your child.
This article first appeared in ChampionValue.