Singapore has one of the top education systems in the world. Singapore’s education system supports the development of children’s strengths and social skills. Schools in Singapore produce students with strong academic results who later go on to pursue successful careers.
Learn more about why Singapore’s education system is considered a global standard.
- Singapore has the highest achieving primary and secondary pupils in international math and science tests.
- In Singapore, most people aged 15 and over can read and write, boasting a 97% overall literacy rate.
- 98% of men and 98.2% of women are literate, which is greater than most Asian countries.
- 8% of Singapore’s population have secondary school diplomas.
- English is used as the main language of instruction.
Schools in Singapore (Overview)
As of 2018, there are a total of 185 primary Schools, 150 secondary schools, 16 mixed level schools, and 14 junior colleges in Singapore. The type of secondary school a child attends will determine their career path. For example, those who achieve A Levels may attend a university, while others may study at technical institutes.
Each school or institution is categorized into five types – Specialized, Specialized Independent, Independent, Government-aided, and Government schools. Government schools outnumber independent and specialized institutions, with a total of 144 schools.
Structure of Education System in Singapore
- Primary – Children in Singapore attend preschool up to the age of six, getting prepared for primary school, where they will spend 6 years. This stage teaches children basic math skills, gives them a good grasp of the English language, and improves their knowledge of their mother tongue.
- Secondary – Students need to choose a path, either to attend a standard secondary school (five years) or a specialized school that leads to O-Levels in four years.
- Post-Secondary – This usually takes between one to three years and offers a choice of schools, including junior colleges, polytechnics, and institutes of technical education.
Private Schools in Singapore
There are 3 types of private schools in Singapore – these are Full Time Religious Schools (Madrasah), Privately Funded Schools, and Special Education Schools. In Singapore, there are 29 Private Schools registered with the Ministry of Education. There are 12,228 students and 1,772 teaching staff among these private schools.
Private School Fees
Data from Edarabia.com suggests that the average yearly school fees among private schools in Singapore ranges from 1,800 SGD (1,309.57USD) to 46,350 SGD (33721.28 USD). The United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) East Campus is the most expensive, with an average annual fee ranging from 38,685 SGD (28,142.76 USD) to 46,350 SGD (33,718.93 USD). Meanwhile, the most affordable private school is DPS International School with annual fees ranging from 2648 SGD (1,957.28 USD) to 3852 SGD (2,847.23 USD).
Ministry of Education Schools in Singapore
According to data from the Singapore government, the current number of students in Singapore is 446,582. Teachers in Singapore number around 33,378. This means that for every 1 teacher, there are 13 students. Singapore’s teaching force has grown by 20%, which is comparable to OECD standards. Instead of reducing class size, Singapore opted to increase the number of teachers deployed to help students.
School Fees for Citizens & Non-Citizens
Every year, the Ministry of Education in Singapore regularly reviews and issues revised school fees for Singapore permanent residents (PR) and international students (IS) enrolled in Government and Government-aided schools. Revised fees take effect January of each year.
According to the MOE, school fees among MOE schools will continue to rise in the next three years. School fees range from 155 to 205 SGD (112.76 to 149.13 USD) per month for PR students, and 415 to 750 SGD (301.93 to 545.65 USD) per month for international students.