Education in Singapore
The population of Singapore is highly educated, and around 20% of the nation’s GDP is spent on education. The literacy rate of its population is one of the highest in Asia, at around 95.4%. Singapore is renowned for offering a world class education and students from all over the world go there to receive this top notch education.
Getting into a school
To be able to get into a school in Singapore every potential student must pass an English competency test. This is because most classes in the country are taught in English, so a decent level of the language is vital for success from an academic point of view. This should make it easier for children from the UK to settle in.
Currently there are international schools from the United States, Japan, Australia, Dubai, England, and Canada in Singapore. Many expats find this convenient and prefer to send their children to an international school which operates with the curriculum, culture, qualifications and teaching practices of their home country.
The Singapore school system
Children typically get their first taste of education from the age of six when it is mandatory for them to attend a primary school; however from the age of three most children attend kindergarten. (All kindergartens are privately run), which provide the basic skills needed for success during the child’s time at primary school.
Primary school – Children enter primary education at the age of six and attend for six years. For a child to get through primary education and move onto the next stage of education they have to pass the PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination). This examination is also used to place students into different secondary schools which have four different “tracks”.
Secondary education – Depending on what “track” the student manages to get into; secondary schooling can range from four to five years. At the end of secondary schooling, most students take a test that measures success in each one of the six academic fields the student has studied. A one is a perfect score for a field, so a six is a top score for the examination.
College – After leaving secondary school, students can choose to continue their studies at a Junior college. These colleges are not free but a student can acquire scholarships and subsidies offered by the government based on academic performance and family income.
University – There are a number of world-class national universities in Singapore. In addition, there are a number of international institutions that have established campuses there: such as INSEAD, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and Duke University.