Going to school in Singapore a costly affair for foreigners

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 19 Oct 2017

SINGAPORE: Foreigners and Singapore permanent residents (PR) will have to pay more over the next three years to enrol their children in schools here.

Monthly fees for PRs attending a primary school will increase from the current S$130 (RM405) to S$155 (RM483) next year and S$180 (RM561) in 2019.

For international students, monthly fees will increase by S$50 (RM155.46) each year – from S$600 (RM1,865.57) now to S$750 (RM2,336) in 2020.

Secondary school fees for PRs will nearly double from the current monthly fee of S$200 (RM621.81) to S$380 (RM1,184) in 2020, with an annual increase of S$60 (RM186.58) in monthly fees.

The revision in fees, which applies to primary and secondary schools, as well as the pre-university level, will take effect from January each year.

This will be the third consecutive year that school fees have gone up for non-Singaporeans.

A Ministry of Education (MOE) spokesman said it conducted regular reviews of school fees and made adjustments when necessary.

“The fee increase sharpens the differentiation between Singapore citizens, PRs and foreigners to reflect the privileges of citizenship,” said the spokesman.

“Having said that, even with the increase in school fees, our fees for international students remain competitive compared to international and private schools.”

From 2018 to 2020, school fees will increase by S$25 (RM77.74) to S$60 (RM186.57) a month for PRs, and by S$25 (RM77.74) to S$150 (RM466.45) a month for international students.

MOE said it released the fee schedule for the next three years “to provide greater certainty and enable parents to plan for the financing of their children’s studies in MOE schools”.

The fees for Singapore citizens remain unchanged.

Primary school education is free for Singaporeans, while those in secondary schools and at the pre-university level pay monthly fees of S$5 (RM15.55) and S$6 (RM18.66) respectively.

Several affected parents said they were thankful that their children even had places in local schools.

Kristine Oustrup Laureijs, a 45-year-old Danish artist whose two children, aged nine and 11, attend schools here, said: “We are grateful that our kids actually have places at local schools as they are very, very difficult to get these days.” — The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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