Monday, July 13, 2009

Before You Send Your KIDS to Study in Singapore....

With the latest FLIP-FLOP in the PPSMI some parents are thinking of sending their children to study in Singapore where the medium of instruction is English for all schools.
Thousands of Malaysians have made the journey south for various reasons. My wife's parents made that important decision to send their youngest son to Singapore way back in the 70s when the medium of instruction was switched in Malaysia from English to BM and I believe that was also the time when Malaysians started in migrate in large numbers before countries like Australia and NZ began their restrictive immigration practices.
My brother-in-law had uncles in Singapore so the trauma was reduced a little but today he is a senior officer in the MoE.
My own family looked to Singapore for education when I took up employment there in 1987 when we had 3 young children. My eldest was in Darjah 3 and she enrolled in SIGS in JB in 1988.
Sultan Ibrahim Girls School was then considered ne of the 2 top schools in JB with the Convent but back then the school buildings looked rather unattractive and had only low rise blocks.
Early on my wife and I planned the switch to Singapore schools and we decided that the eldest daughter would switch over in secondary school.
English is my mother tongue and so the language is not a problem. Besides all our daughters were avid readers and they all write well.
We had to prepare our daughter by using the Singapore revision books that are available in JB. After seeing the thousands of children who brave the Causeway each day, we decided that it was something doable.
For 2 years I coached my daughter in Maths and Science. At times it was trying for both of us as my daughter is playful and I am a little strict but she was admitted directly from Malaysia Darjah 6 into Secondary 1 at the Bukit Panjang Girls School.
If the results are not good enough, they may ask you to start one level lower - ie you have to repeat a year.
Meanwhile my second daughter began her primary education in JB at the Convent but transferred to Qihua Primary in year 2 as she aced their entrance test. She later scored well enough in the GEP to gain admittance into Raffles Girls School where she was exempted from paying their high school fees.
My third daughter started her education in Singapore straight from Primary 1 -we reckon the school welcomed her as her elder sister was their first pupil to succeed in the GEP exams.
Our fourth child also went to Qihua.
My 3 daughters went to JCs and they all have good careers now - one is a civil servant, another a tax accountant in London and the third a doctor in Canada.
Next week, we will attend our son's graduation in Law in London.
By the way, you can mix and match your child's education program to suit your needs.
My son did not take the JC route. We used the A-levels route in JB and he took exams within 15 months before he went to London for studies.

For those considering to send children to Singapore there are both pros and cons like most things in life.

1.Education standard is fairly high and most graduates can get jobs.
2.Your children will become fairly mobile and become "international citizens".
3.Develop independence earlier.

1.Incur extra costs and still pay tax in Malaysia for education
2.Children will "sever" family ties earlier as they are more distant.

As a parent, you will make a decision in the best interest of the future of your child as you will probably not be around forever for them.

I am willing to help those staying far from Johor as follows:
If you want to buy Singapore revision books that are not available in your Popular book store, I can shop and post to you a selection of Maths, English and Science books so you can assess your child's ability. There is no charge for this service but you pay for the books, postage and packaging.
Send me an email at haroldangus(at) if you want further info. Also please express your opinion on why the government has gone backwards on education by using the poll on the left.


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sherry said...

I have 2 daughters. The eldest will be in primary one next year. I am very confused in a placing her in Chinese school or Malay School. Some of my friend advised me to send her to Singapore. I am reluctant as I don't want her to spend most of her time in traveling. I know that the Spore Education system is better then Malaysia. Please provide some opinion and advise. Thanks

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degree said...

Malaysia send their kids to study in Singapore because of the education environment and school security. I think so.

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frizzorama said...

Hi my name is Aidila Razak and I'm a journalist with Malaysiakini. I'm looking for parents whose children cross the causeway every schoolday to go to school in Singapore, for a piece on PPSMI.

Would you be able to point me in the right direction?

My email is Would appreciate to hear back from you soon as we hope to record on Nov 16.


Angie Teh Huit Ping said...

Hi... I have just got a job in Singapore and would like to enrol my daughter whom is 8 years old this year to study in Singapore. But I do not know whether there is vacancy for her and which level should I put her?

Please advise.