One of the finest education system I have come across is in Singapore. When the students are in grade 6, there is an exam called PSLE which is like our Indian board exam! The stress and competition is similar to the one students in India go through in their 10th board exam...only here , the students are just 12 to 13 year olds! But whether this is necessary or not is a debatable topic here, the students are streamlined into schools depending upon their marks. It is now mandatory that schools do not name their topper students..the students , after doing their 'O' levels, opt for a polytechnic course or do join a junior college or join ITE(technical education).
The best part is the extra curricular activities offered in schools. It amazes me how the students attend school early in the morning, take part in activities and manage studies!! People do feel the childhood is lost pursuing all these activities which adds to the pressure, but again its all debatable!
A visit to any polytechnic in Singapore is like a dream. The atmosphere is so lively, charged and clean. I,as an expat, feel its worth it to allow my kids to join a poly and do a diploma as their are so many course options. Education takes on a whole new meaning here in Singapore.
Importance of English as first language
An important issue which I had to face while looking at a polytechnic admission was my ignorance of the importance of taking English as the first language. Many schools teaching the IGCSE curriculum in India, give a choice to students to either take English as the first or the second language. My advice to Indian students is to take this as the FIRST language. Admission here in Singapore are very difficult if one opts for English as the second language even though Hindi/ sanskrit/ french may be the official second language.