Like all the parents in the world, you want the best for your child. Best clothes, best toys and of course, the best education.
Many of the Singapore parents will enrol their children in local public schools, mainly because private schools are inaccessible to them (Singapore government do not allow Singaporeans to study in an international school unless with very specific reason) and the expensive school fees.
On the other hand, expatriate parents in Singapore are quick to jump on the international and private schools wagon because of the curriculum and admission is pretty limited to foreigners in local schools.
If you are thinking of placing your child in a private school, there are 8 things you should be aware before you pay the admission fee.
Before you zoom into one specific private school, you should check its credentials with the government and other related institutions. Singapore’s Council for Private Education keeps a list of accredited private schools in the country which you can review.
CPE also keeps a record of the school’s track record, in case you are worried about your child’s safety and educational experience.
Just like public schools, private schools are also assessed to determine how well they operate and assist their students.
The EduTrust Certification Scheme is one of the country’s assessment exams for private schools and if the school you are researching for your child has their certification, you can be assured the school can be trusted.
The school under assessment will have to meet certain requirements before they are awarded the certificate:
• Corporate governance and administration
• External recruitment agents
• Management commitment and responsibilities
• Student protection and support services
• Achievement of student and graduate outcomes
• Academic processes and student assessment
• Quality assurance, monitoring and results.
Course Fee Protection
If you are worried about unused fees that may not have been used in cases of school closures or other similar changes, private schools do offer course fee protection schemes so you can recover the fees easily.
Edu-Trust certified private schools are required to partake the insurance scheme to offer fee protection to all their students, that is inclusive of all the fees paid.
Each instalment of the course fee aren’t allow to exceed the fee collection cap calculated in a formula like this:
(a) “n” is the Course Duration in months as stipulated in the student contract or, in the event that the Course Duration is more than twelve months, equivalent to a value of 12.
(b) Each instalment after the first shall be collected within one week before the next payment scheduled.
(c) The collection of the fees shall correspond with the delivery of course content to the student per semester and / or per module, as may be applicable.
This is to ensure that the private school your child is enrolled in, doesn’t collect an overabundance of school fees prior deliverance of service.
Private schools have a very flexible school curriculum and a wide variety of subjects, requiring them to hire only the best teachers in the field.
More than often, a good school will take strict protocols before hiring their teachers and that include mandatory background checks, strong references and multiple interviews.
You can peruse the school’s website where they have a list of their faculty members and check their credentials there. If you cannot see these details, you can ask alumnus who studied in the school before to determine if these teachers are good.
A thorough search on the internet or the school forums will give you a good idea on the popularity of the school as well. Join up the school’s Facebook support group and you get to network with some of the parents whose children are currently studying there.
Partnerships with Other Schools
If the private school you plan to enrol your child into is partnered with overseas or other local institutions, take some time to research if their certification or degree is recognised.
Some certification may not be accepted in foreign universities, which may require your child to take additional tests.
The best way to research is to go to the admission webpage of the world’s top 10 universities and see if the school’s certification matches up. That way you and your child will not be caught by surprise.
Your child needs to have a stress-free learning environment to help them take in the classes they have and explore without worries.
Make it a point to visit the school grounds and see what facilities they have. You should also check if the study environment is perfect for your child.
Take a look at the school’s timetable as well. No matter how good the school facilities are, if there are no specialty classes cater to the facilities or the child do not have time to make use of the facilities, it might as well gone down the drain.
Breakdown of Fees
Every private school offers parents a full overview of the course fees, materials and learning or job opportunities for students. All Edu-Trust certified private schools are required to breakdown the list of school fees so that parents understand what they are paying for.
Review the data with an alumnus of the school or sit down with the school to discuss what certain fees are for and if it is necessary. Particularly, if your child is not starting school in the beginning of a new term but midway through the term, the fees may be pro-rated.
Finally, your child needs an edge amongst their peers once they graduate. Check if the private school you are looking at with your child can offer internship opportunities that would help them with their chosen field.
You should also check the industries or companies it is connected to are legal and verified. Some of the international schools provide rare opportunities and open doors to organisations for internship such as WWF, Unicef and Apple.
A good internship may be just the right start to a good career!
Choosing a suitable school is never easy. It takes a lot of time and effort, hence we hope that by providing the above information at hand, you can make better decision and find the perfect school for your child.
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