Education in Singapore is managed by the Ministry of Education, who controls the development and administration of government and government-aided schools and play a crucial role in advising and supervising private schools to ensure the quality of education and that school management meet the necessary standards.
Pre-school in Singapore begins at the tender age of 3 starting with Nursery followed by Kindergarten at the age of 5 and 6. Parents have the option of choosing between half-day and full-day programmes from among the plethora of pre-schools that range from public pre-schools such as The Little Skool-House, to privately run pre-schools such as Montessori. While pre-school education in Singapore is not compulsory, it is widely attended with over 99% of Singapore children having had pre-school experience by the age of 6.
Primary education in Singapore is compulsory for all Singapore Citizens and comprises of 6 years, known as Primary 1-6, starting from the age of 6. Students will be required to sit for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) at the end of their final year in primary school and progress to secondary education with their choice of school dependent on their PSLE results.
The Singapore secondary education system is mainly divided into three streams: Express, Normal Academic (NA) and Normal Technical (NT). These are four-year courses that prepare students for the O-Level, N(A)-Level and N(T)-Level examinations respectively. Students who fare well in the N(A)- Level examination may study a fifth year at the secondary level to sit for the O-Level examination. The subjects taught in the Express and NA classes are mostly of an academic nature while NT classes contain more subjects that are technical and skills based, such as Design and Technology, to prepare students for post-secondary education in technical fields.
After completing their secondary education, students have the option to pursue their post- secondary or pre-university education according to their academic performance and personal preferences. While there is a myriad of options for students to choose from, the three main types of institutes at this stage are Junior Colleges / Centralised Institutes, Polytechnics and Institutes of Technical Education (ITE).
These institutes cater to students of varying academic capabilities based on their secondary education results and interests, with all options containing pathways to a university education and good career path. Students who graduate from Polytechnics and ITEs are equipped with relevant skillsets to contribute to the work force immediately upon graduation.
Students who wish to further their studies after their post-secondary education are able to enrol into a university to pursue their Bachelor’s degree and even postgraduate studies thereafter. There are 5 main local public universities in Singapore and many other private universities to cater to students of all types and interests.
Learn more about studying in Singapore with some commonly asked questions by our students
Learn more about how to apply to the various schools in Singapore
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