I've been looking for a school for my daughter for a while now. I mean, it's not supposed to be so "serious" because she's only going to be in kindy but I take things like her education pretty seriously. I honestly don't know what is the best when it comes to education (or anything else for that matter) but I would like to think that I've done enough research to ensure that I am fully informed when I make my decision. It has become quite a stressful exercise actually. God help me.
As a SAHM, my job is obviously to find out all the information there is and then make my decision on which one is best and then present it to my husband. He will then make the final decision as he is the paymaster. I only show to him the shortlisted ones as I'm sure he is not interested to know the details. He just wants to know where the school is, what do they teach her, why is it good and of course, how much it will cost him. The last one is the tough one because when it comes to the fees, it can go up really high and sometimes, the fees can even sound ridiculous & crazy. I don't want him to think I'm only looking for expensive schools. Expensive doesn't necessarily mean good. Although usually, good schools are expensive schools. I don't know. But anyways..it's been pretty stressful.
First of all, it is our location. We moved and we are no longer staying in the golden triangle. We used to stay in town and there, it was 15 minutes to Bangsar (where most of the good schools I wanted to send my daughter to are), it was 15 minutes to Ampang (where most of the international kindy are). Basically, we were not limited to just one area. We had Bangsar, Damansara, TTDI, Ampang, Melawati all under 20 minutes away. Driving to all those areas aren't too bad. We were central enough to miss most traffic and for me (who will eventually be driving my daughter to school daily), isn't too bad. But now, we are in Kajang where it will be quite far for us to travel to all the areas mentioned above. I need to find a school that's nearby and I have to consider the heavy traffic coming to and from town. And when you hear Kajang, you automatically think.. "oh dear god, what kind of school can you find there", right? Well, that was what was in my head when my research started.
I looked at a few. Found few normal ones and nothing special. Nothing that really caught my attention. I then started calling few schools outside Kajang area like Mont Kiara and Ampang. I was really pushing it too because there is NO WAY I could get my daughter to school on time without having to leave home really early in the morning. I gave up. I couldn't find anything.
I then tried Cheras as Cheras is pretty close to us. The only school I would want to send my daughter to in Cheras is Cempaka International School. Only because, I was from Cempaka. I studied in their Damansara Campus during my time and I loved the school. But I was quite disappointed when I found out that they will only accept my daughter when she's a little bit older. I had to wait till she's 4 and I don't want to wait much longer.
Finally I found a kindergarten in Seri Kembangan. It fits the bill and although it is not THE BEST but it will do. I was thinking perhaps I can send my daughter there first and then maybe when she turns 4, I can move her to Cempaka. That was MY plan. We visited the school and it was pretty ok. It had a huge indoor playground (similar to Kidsport type of indoor playground) and the teaching method was Montessori. I guess it was ok. It also has international students and that was good too as my daughter will get to mix around with foreigners too.
Then at a party, I spoke to a friend and she was telling me that Kajang now has so many international schools coming up and if I'm willing to drive out a bit more, there's also international schools in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. Great! Those areas aren't too bad.
I had a few more options. But this time, it wont be a simple Kindergarten anymore. It will be a proper school.
My issue is actually this..... Being a Malaysian who lives in Malaysia and most probably going to be in Malaysia forever, my first option is of course to send my kids to a school which follows the local syllabus - meaning UPSR, PMR, SPM just like me. But our local syllabus and curriculum keeps changing and it is kind of pissing me off. I don't want to say I have no confident in our national curriculum because I come from that curriculum and I turned out alright BUT, it is 2013 now and things are more competitive and different now. Maybe during my time it was OK but with the constant changes (one minute it is in English, next minute in BM, one minute there's PMR, then next minute it will be something else), I am really confused and unsure if the local curriculum is the best for my daughter.
I really didn't want her to follow the international curriculum but lately, after doing a lot of reading..I think I should pick a syllabus that is proven to be good and my daughter needs to be in a system that is consistent. My concern about international school is that she will only mix with a certain type of people and if possible, I want her to have a good mix of friends. My other concern is agama. Most international school don't really stress on this subject and if I'm not mistaken, some don't even offer that subject in school. I know I can send her to class mengaji and get ustazah to come over but I wish she didn't have to attend other classes outside school. I still want her to enjoy being a kid.
So I've come to a decision.
She will be in an international school.
We found one nearby and I'm quite happy with the presentation given by the school during the open day. I wouldn't call myself a kiasu mom but I just want to give her the best. I see a lot of potential in my daughter and I think she can do really well.
The school hunt is now over Alhamdulillah. Now papa needs to find extra $$$ to pay for the ridiculous school fee!
I hope it is the right decision.