Education System

 Singaporean Educational System

Children between 4-6 years begin schooling at kindergarten level to prepare for admission to the elementary grades. This is the same standard for both private and public schools.

Education in Elementary Education (Primary Schools)

Children aged 7-12 years in Singapore must take six years of elementary school, which is divided into elementary the foundation stage which is from grade 1-4 and grade school (orientation stage) for 2 years from grade 5-6.

Mandatory subjects at this level include English and the mother tongue (whether it is Chinese or Tamil, Malay), mathematics, music, handicrafts and health education, social studies and physics for example. At the end of Grade 6, students will take the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE.), after which the student must be enrolled into high school for 4 years or 5 years.

The Secondary Education (Secondary School)

At secondary level, a student’s set of subjects and courses to study are selected based on the results of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). The system is based on a 4-year course called Special and Express Courses whereby the teaching is focused on preparing students for the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education “Ordinary” (GCE ‘O’) which takes 4 years to complete or by another system that takes 5 years to complete according to normal courses and teaching standards. The results of a student’s Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education “Normal” (GCE ‘N’), dictates whether that student would be able to attend the ‘O’ levels in the next year.

For students who passed the GCE ‘O’, the next stage would be to apply for admission to the Junior College for a period of 2 years or for a pre-university course. Pre-university course is takes 3 years to prepare for the GCE ‘A’ Level exams, whereby the students will be able to attend classes on campus. For students who do not pass GCE ‘A’ Level, they are still able to further their education in polytechnic.

One school year in Singapore is divided into four semesters of 10 weeks each. The first semester begins on 2nd January of each year. Between 1st and 2nd semester, there is a one week break. Between the 2nd and 3rd semester, there is a four weeks break. Between the 3rd and 4th semester, there is a one week break. And between school years, there is a long six weeks break.

Most foreign students who study in Singapore has to pay an education maintenance fee of $1,000 dollars for every two years.