June 13, 2012

School Search (Elementary) in Phnom Penh

Hubby and I just came back from checking East West International School for EJ. This is the third school we've checked.

The other two schools we visited were iCan British International School and British International School Phnom Penh.

Our first choice for EJ's school is iCan. We've heard of good feedback from parents and even from kids themselves (older siblings of EJ's classmates who attend the school). The kids say they love the school and are happy with the school. The school only accepts limited students. And unfortunately for EJ, the school is already full for his class.

The second school we checked was British International School Phnom Penh (BISPP). EJ took an exam as part of their admittance requirement. It was a two-hour exam of English and Math. We thought it wasn't age appropriate but since we were also curious to see how EJ would fare, we let him take the exam. Exam fee was $100.

EJ got 63%. Considering the difficulty of the exam, we were really proud of how well he's done. Imagine a 2-digit math exam, proper punctuations and essay writing for a 5-year old?

EJ, as expected did very well in English. In the essay part, they were asked to write something about his family and what he wrote brought tears to my eyes. This is what he wrote:

"My mom likes to kiss me. Me and my dad likes to play Mario Cart on Wii. My favorite game is Angry birds. (He wrote two more sentences here but I couldn't remember what it was)...I love my mom." 

Awww.......I love you, too baby! So much!!!

Anyway, he's accepted at BISPP for "Year 1" (equivalent to Kindergarten), which is age appropriate for him. But we thought it is better to check some other schools within our budget before committing.

As I have said above, we checked East West International School. We like the school for several reasons: good facilities (library is big), teacher's accreditations, tuition fee and EJ will be admitted in Grade 1 (ahead of his age). My only concern is that the school year 2012-13 starts on September 3 which is about a month late compared to the other schools here. In short, EJ won't have anything to do for about 5 weeks because his current summer program ends third week of July.

When you look at it, there's really no problem. But knowing EJ, he will be bored without anything to do for that long.

Sigh. I never thought it was this hard choosing a school for your child.

For reference purposes here are the school's tuition fee of the above mentioned schools:

iCan British International School
Tuition fee - $6,500 (can be paid in 4 payments)
Enrolment fee - $1,000
Capital fee - $1,000

British International School of Phnom Penh
Tuition fee - $4080 (can be paid in 3 payments)
Entrance fee - $1000
Registration fee - $100

East West International School
Tuition fee - $3,150 (can be paid in 2 payments)
Material fee - $300

We did not bother checking International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP) because the tuition alone is way beyond our budget ($12,000 ++).

For now, our only options are BISPP and East West. But we're leaning towards East West.

Let's see.