Singapore raises school fees for foreigners

The Star

Malaysians whose children are studying in Singapore have been caught by surprise by an announcement that school fees for permanent residents (PR) and non-PR students in the republic will be raised in 2011.

Housewife Dalillah Yusof, 46, whose three children with PR are currently studying in Singapore, is shocked to hear about the development.

“I am currently paying S$180 (RM440) per year for my son in secondary school and S$144 (RM352) each for my son and daughter in primary school.

“If the Singapore Government increases the fees substantially, I may have to review my decision to send my children to schools there,” she said.

Singapore Education Minister Ng Eng Hen recently announced the plan to increase the school fees for foreign students as part of a move to draw a distinction between Singaporeans and non-citizens.

A businesswoman, who wished to be known as Hiu, 50, said she might have to consider other options should her non-PR daughter’s primary school fees be increased to triple the current amount.

“She has been following the Singapore’s school syllabus for the whole of primary school.

“It will be very difficult to take her out from the school as the syllabus is different from Malaysia,” she said.

She however was thankful that the Singapore Government had given a year’s notice on the proposed hike.

Currently, about 8% of students in national schools in the republic are PRs, and 4% are international students.

The increase will be substantial, with fees for PRs to increase by more than three-fold by 2012. For instance, a PR in secondary school now pays S$264 (RM647) a year against a Singaporean’s S$252 (RM618).

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