Category Archives: Singapore

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore – Part 1

Ask me my favourite way of spending a day in Singapore and I will tell you that it’s visiting an NPark (Nature Park). After almost an entire year of restricting ourselves to our immediate neighbourhood, emboldened by the decrease in locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases, we visited quite a few places during the month of December 2020. The most memorable among all the places and which warranted a second visit within a span of a couple of weeks was Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

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Beaches – The love for waves!

Pre-2000, waves and beaches would have meant only the sea. Post 2000, the year of release of my favourite movie, Alaipayuthey, sea and beaches do bring to mind everything about the movie and the oodles of beautiful memories associated with the movie too. But, hey, this post is not about the movie. It is, as the title says, all about my love for waves.

View from Sentosa island beach

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Sweltering Singapore

The weather in Singapore right now seems to be giving competition to the Agni Natchatiram summer in India. Making it worse is all the trees outside our apartment suddenly being trimmed as much as they could be. With no signs of shade anywhere, this hot and humid weather has been driving me crazy.

Train Journeys

I have always loved travelling by train during day time since I can happily vEDikkai pAtthufy. From Madras to Mayavaram as the landscape changes from concrete jungle and dirty, smelly rivers like Cooum and Adyar to hillocks, hills, lakes including the huge Chengalpet lake and almost-dry rivers like Paalar to lush green fields and canals with the fields and water bodies inhabitated by cranes, storks and the like and cows and goats happily grazing in the open pastures, it has always been a nice, beautiful journey. The familiarity of the scenes and landscapes feel comforting to me.

Every time I take a train having overhead stretch in Singapore, it is this Madras to Mayavaram route that I remember. The views from MRT in Singapore predominantly comprise only of HDB apartments, private Condominiums and malls barring a few companies/offices. Cut back to the train journey in our vast country – isn’t it filled with nature’s beauty?

I also remember the train journeys in Europe – in the Belgium, Paris, Luxembourg regions. The countryside or so I think it was, were all very, very beautiful with nice independent houses having backyards with horses, gardens and slides and swings for the kids of the house. The cool weather further added to the beauty.

Rides at AMK Hub & Play Areas at Blk 564, Ang Mo Ave 3

Stepping out of Cathay Cineplex at AMK Hub, I felt that the children deserved a good play time after the movie experience. So I took the escalator to the floor below hoping to see any toy ride-on vehicle which are usually a part of malls. A series of 7-8 different rides like this one below was enough to grab the attraction of both my children and before we knew it, it was already more than half an hour and they both still wanted to play for some more time.

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International Schools in Singapore for Student Pass Holders

Even as I was writing this post, I coincidentally chatted with a friend on the options for international schools for Student Pass holders. Here are some of my findings. I am putting the disclaimer that this may not be fully correct and you go ahead and cross-verify any information posted here.

For an international school to admit Student Pass holders, the school should have EduTrust certification and this link has the list of schools having EduTrust certification.

In this list, Global Indian International School seems to have the most reasonable fees.

Indian International Schools in Singapore

There are 4 Indian International schools here in Singapore and these are the ones having the lowest fees compared to all other international schools. These international schools raise their fees almost every year and the fees are definitely going to only be on the increase. The websites of all these schools have detailed fee structure.

These schools follows the academic year schedule of April to March. Except NPS International School which follows the age criteria for primary 1 as completion of 6 years as on March 31st, the other three require only completion of 5 years of age as on March 31st. So, since a child completing K2 (Kindergarten 2) in a local school in November would already have completed 6 years, they allow them to directly join the last term of Primary 1 from January and move on to Primary 2 from April. It is up to the parents to decide if their child can manage to skip two terms of Primary 1.

Ask anyone who has a child studying in any of these schools and the common complaint you will hear is that there are no adequate number of teachers for all subjects and that teachers keep changing often. But, when, at the end of the day, a majority of foreigners here belong only to a community of floating population, that is bound to happen, isn’t it? You also hear varying opinions on the quality of teaching too.

All these schools have school transport services to all areas.

All these schools have at least a thousand students studying in it and it is easy to get admission in any of these schools at any time of the year.
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Primary 1 School Admission for Foreigners in Singapore

It’s that time of the year again when the postbox of most of the foreigners, read not a citizen or a permanent resident (PR) of Singapore, awaiting primary 1 admission for their child in a local school get the rejection letter from the Ministry of Education (MOE). The MOE website clearly states that there are only limited vacancies in local schools for foreigners and it is better for them to look for alternatives in International schools well in advance. While no one knows how a foreigner can get admission in a local school, from the look of things, it appears that nothing more than luck plays a role in someone getting an admission. Let us first see the procedure for applying for a local school.
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