Government Schools
Singapore Education Roadmap



Government Schools

Government School Fees for International Students

Please refer to Ministry Of Education (MOE) website for updated prices.



Primary

Singapore has approximately 200 government primary schools offering 6-year education. Primary Education consists of a 4-year foundation stage from Primary 1 to 4 and a 2-year orientation stage from Primary 5 to 6. The overall aim of primary education is to give students a good grasp of English language, Mother Tongue and Mathematics. Subject-based banding is carried out to recognise the different abilities of pupils and give them greater flexibility to concentrate on the subjects they are good at. The main subjects are English, Mother Tongue (according to race; Chinese, Malay or Tamil) and Mathematics. Other supplementary subjects include Music, Art and Craft, Physical Education and Civics and Moral Education. Students start learning Science in Primary 3. Other than Mother Tongue, all subjects are conducted in English. Primary students have to pass the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) to be deemed to have completed primary school education.

The first day of school every year for primary schools is the first weekday after 1 January. The age of entry to Primary 1 is 6 years old. The schools are half-day based sessions, and may be morning or afternoon. Lower levels are usually in the afternoon sessions. The school facilities are comprehensive even for primary schools, with library, canteen, sports field, multi-purpose hall, small garden, counseling room and science laboratory etc. Primary 4 and above students can participate in Co-Curricular Activities (CCA).


Secondary

Singapore secondary education is separated into Express, Normal (Academic) and Normal (Technical) course according to the student’s academic standard. Express course is 4 years and Normal course is 5 years. The schools can be Independent, Autonomous, Government or Government-aided. Autonomous, Government and Government-aided schools have standardised fees set by MOE while Independent schools can set their own fees, with higher fees than other schools and generally better facilities. In lower secondary levels, students will study all the subjects, including English, Mother Tongue/Higher Mother Tongue, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, English Literature, Art, Design and Technology, Civics and Moral Education, Physical Education, Drama and Music. From Secondary 3 onwards, the schools prepare for the GCE ‘O’ level examinations, where the student takes 7-9 subjects, including at least English, Mother Tongue/Higher Mother Tongue, Mathematics, 1 Science and 1 Humanities. Every student has to participate in at least one CCA.


Junior Colleges

Junior College, a 2-year course, is equivalent to Senior High in other countries, ending in GCE 'A' Levels certification the equivalent of High School Diploma/Certificate in the other countries. Junior College students can choose between Science Stream and Art Stream. All students are required to study 2 to 3 H1 subjects and 3 to 4 H2 subjects. H1 subjects include General Paper (GP), Mother Tongue (students who have obtained a D7 or better in Higher MTL at the ‘O’ level can choose not to). Students have to offer at least 1 H1 or H2 contrasting subject. Involvement in CCA is still required, but the requirement is not as stringent as in secondary school, and is a good opportunity to pursue individual interests.


Polytechnics

For Post-Secondary education, students with good 'O' level results can choose to study in a polytechnic if they do not wish to pursue a pure academic study. Singapore has 5 polytechnics. They do not offer degree certifications; students will receive a diploma upon graduation. Polytechnic students with outstanding results can continue to pursue their degrees in the 5 local universities. Polytechnic courses usually take 3 years to complete. If they enroll in the same degree course as their diploma, they may be allowed an exemption of most of the first year modules and take only 3 years to complete the 4-year programme.


Government-Funded Universities

The government-funded universities in Singapore include not only the renown National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, which ranked number 29 and 86 in the world according to the 2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the government have established 3 more public-funded universities to provide new programmes, to meet the constantly changing demands of jobs.