Sunday, July 29, 2012

More about Private School

"Mom, today my headmistress (in the private school) ended her speech with YOU ARE AN AWESOME GENERATION," my daughter told me.


"Mom, can I drop Chinese subject if I go to (the private school) next year?" my form 3 son pleaded.

"Is ok one lah...even the Chinese (subject) teacher here is very friendly and doesn't simply scold us..." my daughter told him.


I can sense the positive energy in this school My daughter told me all her teachers are friendly and approachable even though some are quite strict when teaching. They have the ability to bond with the students. I met a few of them during the recent teacher-parent conference. All of them speak good English, including her Science, Math & Geography teacher. All her teachers are experienced except for her science teacher who is young and new. Even so, as long as she is passionate and knows her subject well, it is alright with me.

Can sit for 'O' Level and SPM! My daughter is studying both KBSM/national syllabus and IGCSE/'O' Level (Science, Math & English). This is the very first year the school implemented the new dual system. Just like those Independent Chinese Secondary schools that prepare students for 統考 & SPM, my daughter's school will prepare them to sit for 'O' level in form 4, and SPM in form 5. I am happy the English standard is much higher than the public school.

Good for PBS (no more PMR) There is a new cabinet in my daughter's classroom for students' PBS related school work until form 3. There will be no more PMR for those who are in form 1 this year, and students will be graded by each subject teacher based on the new School Base Assessment - PBS (Pentaksiran Berasaskan Sekolah). It is said to be a holistic approach in which students are evaluated based on a few aspects: Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor. Problem is, when my daughter was in the public school, some subject have no teachers at all, some subjects have changed teachers a few times, how can the PBS be implemented smoothly?

Small class size is ideal for PBS My daughter's class has 24 students as compared to 42 in her former school. Small class size is definitely more ideal, especially for this new system (PBS) which requires more personal attention from teachers. There are also a lot of individualgroup projects and students are required to make presentation in class. A few teachers have noticed my daughter's artistic ability... perhaps it is due to the small class size too.

Embracing technology More slide presentation are used by teachers in this school. My daughter's Mandarin teacher showed me some samples and I'm sure it will make learning more interesting. Oh ya, everyday parents will receive emails from teachers on what they've taught in class, and homework for the kids.

School is not only about academic achievement. I want my kids to be in a POSITIVE, CARING and RESPECTFUL learning environment. 

Extra curricular activities and other non-academic related subjects should be emphasized too. Even though my daughter does not enjoy her Structured Performing Art (yet?),  I told her to treasure the experience and isn't it fun to learn some drama, hip hop step etc? In fact, her school has a big swimming pool and it is compulsory to attend swimming lesson too (for one term a year).

Secondary school life should be one of the best time in life. I hope one day my kids remember not only their school friends, but also cherish good teachers who have encouraged them to unleash their potential and inspire them to be a better person.


Eunice Tee尤妮絲 said...

Yuin Ting,

The school sound fantastic, may i know which school your kids are in now?

norick said...

Hi Yuin Ting,

I'm norick, I came by your blog through your comment in Uncle Lee blog...
Your writing is simple and easy to follow..and is not a food blog.. haha.. thus i have finished all the entry in your archive..
I'm happy to know you are a BERSIH too.. =)
Allow me to intro myself.. I'm a working mom with 3 kids too.. the eldest is only 5 years old.. I'm from Sekolah Kebangsaan.. cannot read chinese.. My teachers up to form 5 are quite good and dedicated to the student.. i did very well in SPM except i failed my english..poor in grammar and composition.. I continue form 6 in a lousy school.. just like how you describe your son school.. and ended up merely passing STPM with B and C.. but i'm lucky to get a place in UM and graduate later..
I admire how you depict your warm and loving family...and of course how you plan for your kids future...
I registered my eldest girl with a chinese primary school.. and hopefully she will get a place in 2014.
Education in public school are deteriorating.. and the option to send the kids to private school is only for those who can afford..
As parent, we give all the best to our kids.. and is up to the kids to make good use of it..Have you heard of Teach For Malaysia.. that is one good platform to train teacher.. and hopefully it will bring rainbow again in M'sia education..
I will rather hope for m'sia education and teacher standard to be improve rather than sending kids to private secondary schools.. till i comment again.. regards..
PS: I had 3 newphews coming out from private secondary school and did not excel.. Their brother is in his final year.. hopefully he will make his parent proud..

YuinTing said...

Hi Eunice, that school is about 15 mins drive from my house. Can guess? (I sent the answer to your Facebook message already)

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Yuin Ting, this my opinion, try get your kid to keep the Chinese, as today, tomorrow lots of businesses will be conducted with China.
Here in Canada, lots of White kids taking up Mandarin studies as well Chinese kids.
One time was French, but today Chinese or Mandarin is THE language to know, to speak read and write.

I've heard white kids here in grade 5, 8 speaking Mandarin like they from China, ha ha....
Great future if have knowledge of Mandarin.

YuinTing said...

Hi Norick, welcome to my little 'igloo'!
Gotta thank Uncle Lee for helping to connect 2 Malaysian moms all the way from Canada. Guess if he organizes Bersih, we will surely get an even bigger number, ha ha!

I salute your decision on registering your kid in a Chinese primary school even though you don't read Chinese. Perhaps you can prepare her by placing her in a more chinese base kindergarten.

I have never heard of 'Teach for Malaysian' before you mentioned it. I googled and found it to be a good program with nobel intention. However, sorry to say I am not too confident that it will be implemented successfully in our public schools. I used to be quite optimistic about our education system too. I was from a good Convent school (good teachers outnumbered the not so good ones), then I went to a not so good school for form 6 and graduated from a local uni (I am indeed disappointed with my uni quality and the standard of my lecturers, especially after comparing with what my hubby enjoyed in NUS).

In fact it is a myth that all students in private schools will have good academic result. It depends on the child's effort and ability too. But I am quite sure that if a child has the heart to learn, they will gain more from a positive learning environment. I have a neighbor's son who got 10 As for his SPM and enjoyed every bit of his school life in a private school, yet another neighbour's daughter who didn't do too well academically but did enjoy her school life.

Parents still play an important role in instilling good learning habits and value in kids. If school can't offer a good environment, parent has to put in more effort to guide and motivate the kids. Secondary school kids are quite easily influenced by their peers. When a teacher is not good and not being respected, most likely the whole class will not pay attention in class.

Norick, your kids are fortunate because you are an educated mom. I am sure you can coach them with their studies,no matter what secondary school you put them in the future. It is still quite a few years to go ... Hopefully by then the quality of our public school will get better.

Once again, thanks for dropping by and sharing your thought.

YuinTing said...

Hi Lee, thank you for such a good piece of advice. I always tell my kids that mastering another language is like having a powerful tool. I am forever grateful to my parents for sending me to Chinese primary school.

I'm still persuading my son to continue taking Chinese after his form 3, even though he keeps complaining about how hard the Classical Chinese Literature (文言文) is. You are right, those who know Mandarin has an added advantage.

Anonymous said...

what teachers make

mom22bestbrothers said...

Hi YuinTing, I am so glad to have found your blog. I am in a dilemma now in deciding which private school to send my son to next year. The school your daughter goes to seems to be a good school. May I know which school is that? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

hi i am wondering if your daughter takes igcse Eng, Sc n Maths in form 4 and spm in form 5, does that mean that she obtains part igcse cert but full spm cert by 17 yrs old?