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Education & SchoolsBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Singapore (City) - Education & Schools
Pre-school education - nursery and kindergarten – starts at age 3. The 3-year program is run by more than 450 privately-run kindergartens located throughout Singapore. The 700-odd child care centers also offer kindergarten programs to children aged 3 to 6. All kindergartens have to be registered with the Ministry of Education, Singapore. There are kindergartens and international schools that offer foreign-system kindergarten programs for expatriate children.
The 6 years of primary education in Singapore is compulsory. There are no school fees, but minimal miscellaneous fees apply. There is a national examination that leads to a certification - the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is conducted for all primary 6 students. The main emphasis of Singapore’s primary education is English Language, Mother Tongue (Malay, Tamil or Chinese) and mathematics. Various options after the completion of primary school in Singapore are secondary and post-secondary education, the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) program, technical colleges and polytechnics and other specialist schools (e.g. Singapore Sports School and School for the Arts). There are also numerous specialized private schools for business, information technology, engineering and so on. In terms of tertiary education, there are currently 3 universities. Singapore’s Ministry of Education website offers a wealth of information on Singapore’s education system. Of particular interest to expatriates would be the details on admissions for international students to mainstream local schools at primary, secondary and pre-university levels.
For children with special needs, the Dover Court School (www.dovercourt.edu.sg; Dover Court, Dover Road, Singapore 139644, Tel: (+65) 6775 7664) is a foreign system school that provides special education. Click here for contact details on the other 21 local special schools in Singapore.
Singapore offers a wide choice of international schools for expatriate children. Click here for a listing of the international schools in Singapore – contacts and other details are also provided. There are some local schools that offer a foreign system education, and some schools that are non-English international schools included in the listing.
There are expatriate children who are placed on a waitlist for entry into some of the international schools as some schools do not have sufficient facilities to meet the growing number of expatriate children in Singapore. It is best to contact the school as soon as possible to make arrangements before relocating to Singapore. Singapore is gradually attracting more expatriates who come to Singapore on local expat terms, and more and more expatriate children are sending their children to mainstream schools in Singapore. All in all, there are some 22,000 international students in mainstream schools in Singapore.
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