Where do I start? It all started with my passion for details. Its like opening Pringles for the first time - Once you pop, you can't stop.
What a cliche! Anyway, Bella is turning 3 on June 4, 2012. Aside from the birthday party that was on my mind since she turned 2 last year, we are also already preparing for her school. My mom, Far-ouT and yours truly had this discussion few weeks back on where to put Bella in School. Manila or Dubai. I was dead set on the latter. So now, my little research became a School Search. Having to choose the right school for your kid may seem overwhelming at first because of all the information you need to absord but eventually you'll get the hang of it. During the course of my project, there were few things I have learned when you are planning to enroll your kids in one of the schools in Dubai,
I have heard different opinions from mothers related to what age kids should start schooling. Some said, not to put your kids at an early age, as eventually they would get tired and lose interest. Others started early to ready their toddlers for them to cope and get the hang of being out of their safety zone which in my opinion is what I wanted for my tiny tots. You may think this is too early for your child to start school and would think that you would like to enroll her first in a nursery. That is fine, if you don't think your kid can handle the big school. However, be sure to start early as Kindergarten 1 starts about the age of 3 in Dubai. I took a lot of consideration, why I have chosen to put Bella directly to Kindergarten 1 instead of enrollling her in a nursery.
As Bella will be at the age of 3 for school year 2012, most of her classmates would be of the same age group as hers. For me, it would be easier for her to adjust and relate to most of them as they will be sharing the same interest, same behavior, first school experience. Some will still feel hesitant as they do not want to push their kids and want their child to just be in a nursery to play and not pressure them to learn. I will not argue with that. Its fine. But, if other on the same age group can cope with it, why won't you feel the same way for your kid?
I will move on to another subject, and hopefully will give you more understand on my topic. Keep in mind that my focal point is mostly for Filipino Expat like me. Another thing that you would like to consider in choosing the right school is its curriculum. If in the future you are considering going back to our home country, it would be best to put your child in an International or American curriculum which is the accepted ones in the Philippines. British Curriculum may not be a good choice as most of the subjects will not be credited on our local schools.
Dubai living is not as simple as it should be when it comes to tuition and other school fees. Even school bus is way too expensive. But never go beyond what you can. The lat thing you would want is find yourself in debt. We have to work for it though, to keep our family together. I don't Bella to be far from us. Its difficult but its all worth it. Anyway, enough of the heavy and let's get on with the school topic again. Putting your child in a nursery is no laughing matter. Fees ranges from AED 4500 to a whooping AED 6000 per term, each term is for every 3 months. This amount is for 4 hours for 5 days a week class. Lucky for those who can afford it but I don't want to consider Bella going back to the Philippines and be away from us while growing up so I had to make an alternative. When I found out that Big school is now accepting 3 years old, I immediately cross out nursery and look for a nice school for my mini ME.
Aside from Philippines School being a cheaper to start school, I feel Bella will be more comfortable with her fellow Filipino classmates, schoolmates and teachers. So we decided to reserve a slot for her in United International Private School. One to the schools that cater to Filipinos in Dubai. Although, I would like Bella to be in The Philippines School, she falls short on their age requirement of 3 1/2 years old so what I have in mind was to start her school this year in UIPS and transfer the next school year in TPS. I heard that between the 2 schools in Dubai TPS is a better school. They had to improve on the Telephone manners though. Being a school doesn't mean you have the right to be rude to people, right? And it doesn't reflect your being a good one if don't even know how to provide a good service . So when you wish to consider TPS bettter be sure to reserve a slot for your tots as early as February and always look at their calendar on their website.
Hope the above was able to give you an idea on your school search. Goodluck! I am already excited for Bella to start her school!
All the best,