Next year, Baobao will be going to Primary One.
Last year in September, when he was just 4, not even 5 yet, I called the nearby Chongfu Primary School to inquire about joining its parents volunteer scheme.
In Singapore there are a couple of criteria for school to admit primary school students. Students with parents as alumni, or siblings already in the school get to go in as first priority. Next tier are parents who are members of the same clan association as the school. Parents who volunteer at school or at grassroot organisation also get priority at this tier.
The last tier are all who have no whatever association.
For popular primary school, it’s very competitive. And Chongfu is one of the seeded primary schools. We thought as it’s a clan associated school with Chinese background, it would give Baobao a good cultural environment, which we preferred.
But even 2 years before primary one, I was already late trying to get into the parents volunteer scheme. I was told the registration closed in July!
I went to kiasuparent.com to try to get someone to recommend me for the Hokkien Clan association membership but did not get any reply.
Being the ever hardworking mom, I gave up. heh.
I decided to just send him to the primary school a few blocks away from our house. It’s a neighbourhood school.
I was wavering a little when a good friend of mine said she wanted to get into Chongfu’s parent’s volunteer scheme for her daughter, who’s a year younger than Baobao. I felt that I had not tried hard enough for Baobao. Its afterall 6 years of primary school and we should really work harder so as to get a foot into a good school.
I have also talked to another mother with a daughter in the neighbourhood school and she seems absolutely happy with her daughter’s progress in the school. She’s at the top class and always busy attending extra classes and CCAs.
I have been thinking about going to kiasuparent.com again to check out other ‘better’ schools around my area.
And then Mr Lee Kuan Yew spoke. He said last week that the various primary schools differ little in their standards in Singapore. It’s more crucial that parents expose their young ones to books and cultivate their love for learning more than getting into a good/branded primary school.
That put my mind at ease, so it’s settled that Baobao will be going to the neighbourhood school near our place.
Aside from taking the cue from the minister mentor in terms of primary school choice, I was also once pleased that he approved of my speaking mandarin to our kids from young. After I blogged about it why, he too said that parents should speak mandarin to their children from young because in Singapore, to learn well in English later in school is not difficult.
He must have read my blog. hmm..copy my view.bahaha..
Since our views are so similar, does it mean I will also groom a Lee Hsien Loong…? *hope*wish* – FAT FAT
I mean I do not know really exactly how it’s like in Chongfu. I only imagine its long history gives it a strong cultural background. Which I dun think may be reflected in the academic results, the criteria used by MM Lee.
If the real difference is in the general environment, the difference is much more subtle than just academic results. For secondary school, I’m quite adamnant that Baobao be more exposed to the Chinese culture, the same that I grew up in. I have seen the stark difference between my brother and I, going into English and Chinese schools during our teens. I want my children to be schooled the same as I to avoid wide rifts in values later in life.