Today’s post is how we were thinking about the choice of my daughter’s MTL (Mother Tongue Language).
All students in Singapore education system are required to offer a Mother Tongue Language (MTL) as part of the curriculum, and the three official MTL are Chinese (CL), Malay (ML) and Tamil (TL). The Ministry assigns students a MTL class based on the race indicated in Ministry of Home Affair’s database.
I firstly believe (even now) learning Chinese benefits my daughter’s future. Meanwhile I know many students struggle to learn Chinese.
Eventually we chose Japanese in lieu of MTL , although Japanese is not examined at the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE). I got the sense from the internet search that the choice negatively would affect the PSLE score.
Extract: Last week, we went to the local primary and were done for the registration. But we were informed the school bus doesn’t go to our residential area. Now our big concern is how to arrange the school transportation. There are some choices; Grab shuttle, School Bar etc. I have registered. But there were no responses so far.
Meanwhile, there is one and half year of the tenancy agreement left .
基本的にみんなの反応は超ポジティブでめでたい一色。実はこれ背景がありまして、先年同僚の1人はお子さんをローカル小に入学させることができませんでした。なのでみんな”Your girl is so lucky”と反応が返ってきたわけです。シンガポールローカル小への入学は外国人の場合は抽選で運以外の何物でもないので超ラッキーでした。今年はもしかしたら入りやすかったのかもしれません。他の友人（日本国籍）も入学許可がおりました。これは単なる推測ですが、もし考慮されるとしたら、税金の納税期間（私も友人も4年超滞在）とか特定の国籍に偏らないような調整、男女比率など個人の努力ではどうにもならない要素なのかなと思います。
Last week, we have received the result of P1 registration Exercise. Luckily, my daughter is offered a P1 place. Right after seeing the notice, I whatapped it with my colleagues. Their responses were very positive. The behind the scene is the enrollment of the local school is not easy for foreigners. We can’t choose the school and can enter the primary school only where there are vacancies. Previously one of my colleague couldn’t enroll her child to the local primary school. This year it would be better than previous year. My friend’s child also get the place in the local primary. It really depends on the luckiness. I guess it would be up to how long you pay tax or the quota of the nationality or the ratio of sex etc. All these would be what we can’t change.
Registrationを7月にしてからいろいろとシンガポールの教育システムについて調べてきました。一番不思議だったことはシンガポールの教育省がしきりとEvery School A Good Schoolといっているのになぜこんなに小学校入学に皆奔走するのかということ。なぜVacancyがある学校とない学校があるのかいまいちぴんときていませんでした。ちょこちょこ情報を集めていく中でAffiliated school priorityという制度があることを知りました。系列の中学校にあがる場合にはPSLEの試験でかなり加点してもらうことができます。以下の記事で分かりやすく例が紹介されていました。例えばCHIJ SECONDARY（TOA PAYOH）に入るためにはPSLEで247点が必要なところ、系列校出身者は200点ですむ。というもので、私はこれを読んだとき結構衝撃だったのですが、皆さんどうでしょうか？
My friend’s daughter and mine can get the place in the local school which is located far from our house and these schools accept more students. Since I registered my interest on the primary one exercise, my question is why enrolling some specific primaries is difficult even though MOE emphasizes “Every School A Good School”. Now I understand. This is because of the system”Affiliated school priority”. It allows affiliated pupils secure a place in Express stream. Please find the below link.
Currently, the entry scores for affiliated and non-affiliated pupils at some schools can vary by as many as 40 points. For example, for entry into CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh), affiliated pupils need only a T-score of 200 to make it to the Express stream. Non-affiliated pupils had to score 247 and above to secure a place in Express stream last year.
I was so surprised with the system. It would be a big advantage for affiliated pupils, meanwhile a big disadvantage for non- affiliated pupils…. And it is not only me who feel like the system might be unfair. The below link said 20% of places in affiliated secondary schools set aside for non-affiliated pupils from 2019.
”Actually it should be tought and competitive so your girl is really lucky”という鉄人のような返事が返ってきました。
I asked my colleagues why Singapore education system is so competitive. Their response is very positive: ”Actually it should be tought and competitive so your girl is really lucky”. I feel like they are iron men and there would be many tiger mommies in Singapore. My colleague also highlighted “If you talk about Asia, SG is not competitive”.
Still I have time. I should think carefully before action.
One of the big concerns of Japanese who live overseas is how to make friends in English. As you know, our official language is Japanese, not English. And Japanese language is far different from English. If you start learning English since you become adults, learing English is not easy. Especially we struggle to speak English. I believe many Japanese are not confident on speaking.
10 years back, I took annual leave and went to Vancouber, Canada. The purpose was studying English. I have studied English for only two weeks. During this short journey, I competely understood I was not such a person who proactively and spontaneously talk to people, enjoy chatting and join social activities. This was my firts time to spend some time overseas. I felt isolated and wanted to go back to Japan immediately. The school teacher suggested not to be shy and encourage me to join social activities. Eventually I couldn’t make friends.
Back to now. How did I make friend? The answer is very simple:
Do not hesitate to talk with others. Honestly in the first term, it was difficult to make friends as most students were confident on their English and I was not confident on my English. But unlike 10 years back, I tried to find the person who were interested with Japanese culture and some students worked for Japanese company. In addition, I would like to show my interest with their culture: Indonesia and India etc. In the second term, I felt like I was more confident on speaking English. This time I tried to show what I was interested with and luckly unlike the first term, most of classmates were very friendly so we exchanged our number and finally had a Takoyaki Party.
Go and do social activities. If you have a shy and a withdrawn personality but you want to make friends, then try to overcome your concerns. I started small things: just try to share the interesting news or how my work was going etc during the short break. Firstly it was enough, after being used to it, you could go and dine out with classmates. Although I needed to go back home right after class, I could enjoy the chatting and the party. Luckly there was one guy who was very positive to organise the social such as dinner. He suggested the exchange of our numbers.
After all, there are many chances to make friends in English. For example, Meetup apps. You can find and create the local community for what you are interested in, such as Yoga class, dance class or badminton etc. And you can also join online group page., For me, I join the Facebook group page of our condo. Throught the FB posts, I can know what events would be held.
Hoever please do not forget you should be yourself. No needs to change yourself just to make friends. If you feel like tired to look for friends, do notpursh yourself. Sometime we feel like we want to avoid second-language conversation. It is quite common. If you can’t make frinds till the last day of the class, please do not disappointed with yourself and remember the beautiful saying that trees lost their leaves every year and they still stand tall and wait for better days to come.
ここまで英語での会話から友人を作る方法について書いてきました。でもここで強調しておきたいのは全然自分を変える必要はないということです。第2言語で話すのは本当に疲れるので、疲れた時は休みましょう。英語で会話する必要はないと思えばそれでいいと思いますし、日本人同士で固まることは当たり前のことです。うちの会社をみてもインドネシア人同士、インド人同士、ベトナム人同士で固まってランチに行きますし、母語グループが形成されるのは極めて自然だと思います。英会話のクラス最終日にもしランチやディナーに行く友人ができなくても、どうってことないです。You should be yourself. 自然体で参りましょう。