The education system of Singapore is endowed with numerous academic institutions that effectively cater for the education needs of the country. Both its educational infrastructure and teaching methods are esteemed locally, within the region and worldwide. Stamford American International has some nice tips on this.
The academic year in Singapore is from January to December.
Overview of education institutions in Singapore
As in other countries, Singapore looks to education for its future and has created a sound foundation in order to fulfill this dream. It has applied deliberate focus from its pre-schools to the academic halls of its universities.
Registered pre-school education is offered by childcare centers for children aged 3 to 6.
All are operated by foundations, religious bodies, social and business organizations. They function over different periods of between 2½ and 4 hours, 5 days a week teaching English or Mandarin as a second language.
Primary school level
A primary school student undergoes 6 years of primary education in English, Mother Tongue (Mandarin, Malay or Tamil), Mathematics, Music, Art & Craft, Physical Education and Social Studies.
Students are streamed according to performance and must progress to year 6 before sitting the Primary School Leaving Examination.
Foreign students are accepted provided vacancies are available.
Singapore’s teaching methods in mathematics has been adopted internationally as a model for teaching the subject.
Secondary school level
At secondary school level students are streamed into two groups; those wishing to study for 4 years and sit the ‘Ordinary’ (GCE ‘O’) or sit for the ‘Normal’ (GCE ‘N’) after 4 years and proceed to the GCE ‘O’ level examination after the fifth year.
Students are also given the option after 3 years of study to indicate their choice of disciplines, whether they favor the Arts or Sciences.
The curriculum offered at this level is recognized worldwide.
Post-secondary school education
Upon completing the GCE’O’ Level examination, students are given a wide range of options. They can either enroll at a junior college or attend a polytechnics institute.
After successfully sitting for the GCE ‘O’ level examination, students may apply to a junior college for a 2-year pre-university course or enter a centralized institute for a 3-year pre-university course. Both these institutes prepare students for their entry into the university and lay a firm foundation for their tertiary education.
Polytechnics institutes offer a wide range of courses including Engineering, Business studies, Mass Communication, Design and Info-Communications. More specialized courses such as Optometry, Marine Engineering, Nautical Studies, Nursing, Early Childhood Education and Film are also available. The institutes offer diploma level certificates.