This is a series of articles on education in Shanghai (I tried to avoid big topics like Education in China:
Which primary school should I send Yifan to? Every parent wants their child to receive the best education, and there is not standard of what best education is. Here are some choices we have:
1. To enter the public school.
There are always a public primary school in your community. However, most of the time, it is either new, or just so-so. Be definition, the most common schools are not best school.
In our case, the Chang Yi Primary school is the school Yifan can enter, but we don’t feel that we like the school. There are many other great schools out there.
2. Best Public School
There are some schools like No. 5 Primary School at Jiang Su Road at Chang Ning District, or Yuan Yuan Road Primary School – they are top schools of Shanghai. However, you need to buy an apartment in that school district three years before the child enters the school. That is very similar to the school district concept in US. I checked around, and the price for that area has raised to 4 million RMB for a two bed room apartment – way too expensive.
3. International Private Schools
There are many other great schools in Biyun International District or other places in China. They accept students from all over the city, as long as you want to pay the high tuition, and their education system is aligned to international standard. Well. International standard in primary school is a negative word. Although kids are more happy and can learn in a more open environment, and have more time to pursue what they are interested, it also means the kid is kicked off from the mainstream education system in China.
Look at the public schools. They push kids to the limit to learn unlimited stuff – primary school students have to work as hard as to 9 PM to finish their homework, and their weekends are also occupied. This does not happen in international schools.
What is the choice? There are not many months for us to decide – if our choice is a very good public school, we need to act now to secure an apartment (and sell the current one at the same time). Both need time.