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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Shopping for Kindergardens - The mad pursuit for academic excellence

Parents have now taken the mad pursuit for academic excellence to a new level ie starting from pre-school or nursery. I went shopping for kindergardens for my 5 year old recently and sadly I found this to be true, in one of them that is.

This is a very established, well known franchised kindergarden with a name. I visited it because I had received a lot of recommendations and good feedback about it. However I do not find this to be true personally.

At the door I was greeted by a kindergarden teacher who asked how old my daughter was. When I said "5" she expressed shock to know that she has never attended any nursery or play school. "Oh No. These days you MUST sent for at least 2 years." Hmmmm....

Soon I was speaking to the principal who showed me their syllabus while she proudly proclaimed that the syllabus was equivalent to the Standard One syllabus in public school. This way the kids will automatically be streamed into the better classes when they start school I was told. Hmmmmm again. What for? So that you can claim that kids "graduating" from your school turn out smarter than the rest and are ahead of the pact?

I spoke to a teacher who like the principal kept on mentioning the word "homework". Hmmmm aren't kids of that age too young to be subjected to lots of homework? What about time for play. My kids learn so much from playing.

Needless to say, I didn't like that established kindy and won't be back.

I'm opting for a newer, less established, less formal kindergarden where the classes are smaller and the teachers more approachable. Thats it.

Related posts: Kindergarden 101


  1. My sentiments exactly. My wife and I also have to start looking for kindy for our daughter end of this year (she'll be 5 next year).

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  3. finding kindy real big headache..right location, right transport, right teacher, etc....

  4. pablopabla,
    Happy Shopping and don't be like me hor.... mau berak baru cari jamban so last minute but couldn't help it because we were really busy with moving house. :P

    For me, location plays a big part in the decision making.

  5. My mum's is teaching in a well established franchise pre-school however she discourage me to sent my kids to any of the branch though we can get discount, she told me the syllabus is not appropriate. The sad thing about franchise kindy is that they are very commercialized and very competative to compete with other franchise and the programme become very not child development appropriate.

    It's sad that many schools and pre-school teachers stressed on homework... but if you can find a true montessori school, it will be otherwise.

  6. No jamban wear diapers lor...LOL!

    Anyway, I've heard that education systems from the west would be better for children at tender age (pre-primary school) as they focus more on all-round learning and encourage creativity, building up of confidence, etc compared to eastern syllabus which is all about As As As.

  7. dragonmummy,
    But montessori focus so much on play it'll give the child a culture shock when enter chinese school for example.

    Well, I heard that in the Chinese preschool, when a child is told to colour the car blue and she colours the car blue with the windows black, she gets a wrong. Instead of encouraging creativity its being stiffled.


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