Malaysia might be next door to Singapore but it isn’t exactly an easy commute. Traveling to Singapore from Malaysia can take up a chunk of time depending on traffic and a variety of other factors. Even so, there are still many Malaysian parents that have their children brave this commute to attend schools in Singapore despite the need to take AEIS to qualify to enter into Singapore schools.
Parents want their children to have the best education and Singapore is known to have one of the best. However, either than the excellent education system, there are also other merits of Singapore schools that may come as a surprise to others. After all, it’s also important that schools are well-rounded and educate students on much more than just the academic side of things.
Hence, the below are six reasons why Malaysian parents send their children to Singapore schools despite the long journey.
Lower misconduct and enforcement of the law within schools
Youth crime is taken very seriously in Singapore. In 1997, a scheme called honorary volunteer school constabulary was introduced to schools as well as the Institute of Technical Education (ITEs) to deal with school delinquency.
Essentially, what this scheme allows, is for individuals such as discipline masters, discipline mistresses, disciplinary teachers and operations managers to be extended the same authority as the police. They would be able to provide advice on matters relating to misconduct, enforce the law at school, assist to counsel delinquents and even partner with community organizations at the local level to fight youth crime.
With this scheme in place, it allows youth crime to be reduced and situations can be de-escalated at a much quicker rate. Parents would also be more at ease knowing that there are teacher-cops to step in and handle any potentially threatening situations.
Bilingual education system
Singapore’s single stream education system allows multiple ethnic groups to learn together in the same school. In Singapore, the mainstream of instruction is English. No matter if you’re Malay or Chinese, you go through the same education system and speak the same language. Hence, you’re able to effectively communicate with your peers.
At the same time, there’s also importance placed on being bilingual. Either than English, students are also required to learn their mother tongue. Mother tongue electives include Chinese, Tamil or Malay and help students stay grounded to their roots. Mother tongue proficiency is taken very seriously and most students grow up to be fluent in both English and their mother tongue.
Being bilingual in this day and age is an asset and presents individuals with a competitive advantage in the future when they enter the workforce.
Healthier lifestyles through student health advisors
Either than the academic side of things, pursuing a healthy lifestyle has also become an important aspect of Singapore’s education system. In 2010, eight secondary schools were also introduced the Student Health Advisor Programme by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board. The aim of this programme was to allow adequately trained nurses to be at these schools and advise on diet and health-related issues.
Due to the success of this programme, it continued to be implemented in more secondary schools and subsequently extended to other higher learning institutions. These nurses not only help to educate students on the idea of pursuing a healthy lifestyle, they’re also on hand to provide counseling for students with any other health-related issues. Theses student health advisors also conduct regular health talks to students at the school
Since children spend a large portion of their time in school, having access to student health advisors and having someone to talk to about such issues will go a long way.
School support for students with mild special education needs
For students with mild special education needs, it’s important for them to be able to receive the support that they need so that they can be better integrated into mainstream schools.
In Singapore, schools have Allied Educators (Learning and Behavioural Support). These Allied Educators are properly trained and work with the school to implement school-wide special education need support programmes while monitoring their student’s progress and keeping their parents involved. These allied educations mainly assist students with dyslexia, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
In Singapore, all primary schools and a number of secondary schools have at least one Allied Educator on hand to ensure that there’s always support for students that have mild special education needs.
Healthy meals in the school programme
Most of the time, children don’t understand the idea of obesity or eating unhealthy until they’re of much older age. It’s important to educate them from a young age so they’re more aware of the choices that they make.
The Healthy Meals in Schools Programme (HMSP) is a partnership with the Health Promotion Board (HPB). This programme aims to allow easier access to healthier food and beverages within the school. Some examples are canteen vendors needing to follow certain food service guidelines such as cutting down on fat, sugar, and salt and serving whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Educational resources are also provided to encourage healthier eating among students.
The goal of this programme is to be able to cultivate healthy eating habits among these students from their youth all the way to adulthood.
Counselors for social and emotional support
While in school, students go through different stages of their lives and it can be quite a volatile period. Hence, it’s important to have counselors on hand to be there to assist with any mental, emotional or social support.
In Singapore, these counselors are integrated into the education system to allow them to provide support for the student’s welfare. These school counselors have to work closely with higher management at the school to plan a structured counseling system. They also have to be on hand to intervene whenever necessary and provide counseling to students that are at risk.
With this structured programme, students will receive the help that they need and be able to participate in special guidance group programmes, allowing them to be provided with additional assistance. Counselors will also update their families on their child’s progress to aid in facilitating their recovery process.
As seen above, Singapore schools offer much more than just the academic aspect of things. Even if it’s a little more of a commute and bears an additional cost, parents are willing to make sacrifices so that their children have the best education possible. Hence, with the six reasons mentioned above, it’s no surprise that Malaysian parents are willing to send their children to Singapore schools despite the long journey.
To better prepare your child to survive Singapore school’s education system, here are some of the articles to assist you: