More Koreans enrolling in schools in Singapore

Singapore is an increasingly popular choice for Korean students.

It’s not just the local education system that’s attracting them here.

There has been a small but growing number of students who are coming to Singapore, specifically to enroll in international schools.

Students at the Singapore Korean School

Weekend classes at the Singapore Korean School have become the only time where many of the students learn the Korean language.

They are among an estimated 6,500 Korean students enrolled in international and government schools here, where English is the medium of instruction.

Han Jae Hyung and Kang Dong Hyun came to Singapore last year and are now studying at the Global Indian International School.

“India has develop(ed) very fast and many countries looking to India. We want (to know about) the Indian culture and we want to make friends with Indian students,” said Han.

“I can learn Chinese, English and so many languages in this country,” said Kang.

Both Han and Kang plan to study at a university in Singapore.

But some of their classmates hope to move to the West once they have mastered English.

Many Koreans said they are attracted to Singapore’s cultural and geographical proximity – a familiarity that has grown in the last decade.

“10 years ago when I went back to Korea, my friends asked me Singaporeans use what language. Now, almost all Koreans know Singapore, so they think Singapore is a very safe country. Security, education, everything here is very good,” said Chun Kyung Ok, who sent both her children to schools in Singapore.

Chun’s son, Michael, is a Primary Six student at East Coast Primary. He is the second child in his family to study in Singapore.

His sister also attended a local school when the family lived here 10 years ago.

Chun said she chose Singapore for its strong national curriculum and bilingual education system.

Currently, the Korean School only has room for 100 primary-level students, and there have been increasing calls by the Korean community to expand.

So from 2010, the school will offer an international secondary school curriculum – the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).

It will also relocate to a bigger campus which can accommodate up to 500 students. – CNA /ls

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 11 Feb 2008

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