A glance at the procedure for securing admission in government, government-aided or independent schools.

Last week we had a look at the various types and levels of educational institutions in Singapore. Let us now examine the procedural formalities for securing admission, and the usual rates of fees we have to pay.

As indicated earlier, basic information on all aspects of education in Singapore can be drawn from the web site ww.singaporeedu.gov.sg. There are convenient links facilitating searches for ‘Programmes’ and ‘Academic courses’. Contact details can be gathered from the respective web sites of the institutions.

Before deciding a school, you should check and confirm aspects such as the entry requirements, fees and other charges, accommodation, and the facilities and terms in respect of international students. The web site mentioned above lists more than 80 questions you should ask before your decision. Some of these are shown below:

What is the teacher-student ratio?

What is the student population?

Where do the students come from?

What are the entry requirements for the course? Am I eligible for the course?

Do I have to take any pre-placement courses?

Is there a standard student contract with the school that I should sign? (The private educational institutions would sign a contract with you.)

When do I have to arrive in Singapore?

Is the course registered with Ministry of Education or other relevant authorities?

Who will be conferring the qualification?

When does the course commence?

When does the course end?

Does the course require me to do a period of industrial attachment / internship? If so, for how long?

How much is the total tuition fee?

Besides tuition fee, what other fees are payable?

Who will make the arrangements for my student’s pass application?

Do I need a sponsor/guardian?

Am I allowed to work? What are my work limitations?

Has the school obtained the Case Trust for Education? (The Case Trust is a scheme that protects the interests of foreign students studying in Singapore)

Tuition fee

Though fees are subject to changes, the following figures would give a rough idea of the rates. (One Singapore dollar is approximately equal to 0.7 US dollar or Rs.33)

For government and government-aided schools, fees per month are:

S$120 for primary schools

S$170 for secondary schools

S$280 for pre-university education

International students of primary and secondary schools, junior colleges and centralised institutes have to make donations to the Ministry of Education’s Education Fund once every two years, at a flat rate of S$1,000.

You may have to pay miscellaneous fees for health services, examinations and insurance. International students have to apply to the Ministry of Education for the tuition grant. Further, they should sign a bond for working in Singapore for three years after acquiring the qualification.

Procedure for admission

The essential procedure for securing admission in government, government-aided or independent schools may be summarised as follows:

Submit your application at the school of your choice, along with the required documents

If there is a vacancy, you may have to pass a placement test conducted by the school

Upon passing the test, the school will issue you with a ‘letter of acceptance’.

The letter of acceptance is valid for two weeks, during which time, you must apply for a Student’s Pass with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and revert to the school with your Student’s Pass confirmation.

International students can take the PACT (Principals Academy Certification Test), a centralised admission test for foreign students conducted by the Principals Academy Inc. (PAI); web site: www.pact.sg). Since this certification test result is recognised by more than 100 participating public schools, the students save the trouble in taking multiple entry tests at different schools.

They can apply to local schools with ease and convenience. PAI does not, however, place students into schools. Students will need to apply to the schools directly.

For admission to primary (1 to 5 levels) and secondary (1 to 3 levels), there is the AEIS (Admission Exercise for International Students) held by the Ministry of Education. For details, see the AEIS web site, which can be accessed from www.moe.gov.sg. The concerned test would be held only in Singapore.

While applying to local universities, polytechnics, or other institutes, you may check the concerned web site for the courses available, identify your choices, and apply directly to the institution concerned.

If you apply online to local universities, you can check your application status online. Upon acceptance, you will be sent a ‘Letter of Offer’, which you should sign and return as directed. You will then receive a package, based on which you can plan to be in Singapore at least two weeks before the semester commences.

Private schools conduct their own admissions exercises. You can check the web sites and then apply directly for admission.

Also, before deciding on studies in Singapore, gather the latest information since there could be modifications in the details of terms and procedure.

Guidanceplus archives: http://www.hindu.com/

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