Perth and Singaporean Parents

So the end of the world didn't happen. What am I going to do with the 3 houses and 4 cars I've bought last week on credit? Life goes on, I reckon and I think a handful of us out there are secretly disappointed we are all still alive. With that, guess the blog goes on too. I had been asked over the weekend about how my blog was. Surprised. Anyway, there was so much to share that it was hard to find an opener.

We took a drive to Mandurah for a crabbing trip on Christmas day. After some running around we managed to find a good spot with adequate crabs roaming about. Alas they were too small to be legally harvested. As law-abiding good permanent and temporary citizens of Australia, we hauled them back to the water each time we caught one undersized crab. It was still worth the effort because we needed to level up on crabbing skills. I have the mind to make another trip perhaps a month later and see if I can get anything.

We returned empty handed but the drive down to Mandurah reminded me once again what a huge country I am living in. It is easy to forget once we get into a comfort zone. Unfortunately, most Singaporeans I observed do exactly the same routine once they moved over. It cannot be helped I guess. It's in our DNA, we are structured city dwellers who know little outside one survival route. It is tough to break out of a tried and tested model, but it is a worthy goal not to give up on and keep exploring possibilities.

I met another Singaporean with two young sons a few weeks back. These days, I didn't talk to 'new' Singaporeans here much and prefer to listen and let others do the talking. It seemed like it was another case of a Singaporean coming here for the future of the kids. Ironically, the first thing they do was to find out how to buy or rent a house in the suburbs of Willetton or Shelley and get their kids into renowned Rossmoyne Primary School. That would be the equivalent of moving to Bukit Timah and trying to get into Nanyang Primary School, without the 'voluntary' work and 'donations'.

As a parent I can fully understand how we want the best for our children. But this made me wonder where we should draw the line. I asked myself often if we should even make the move if we did not have the motivation to remove the Singaporean mentality of wanting the best and nothing but the best is good enough. I mean, I don't have a problem with people gunning for the finest for their lives. What I cannot figure out is that, why move to Perth if you are not prepared to forsake old traits? For a start, if you want 'the best' for the children, didn't they say Singapore has a much better educational system? I've even heard of people sending their kids back to Singapore to do with primary school education to get a 'better foundation' and had came across people who advised me to do the same because the primary school kids in Perth don't even bring books to school and 'do nothing but play'.

On the other hand, parents here want to get their children into reputable schools so that they can learn music, pottery and sports and whatever they could get them to be enrolled into cheaply. I was told that 'normal' schools get less funding from the government and thus they would not be able to provide so much facilities and extra curriculum activities for their pupils. Teaching wise, there isn't much of a difference because teachers are rotated around so that schools have a fair chance of getting an ace teacher. That being said, a reputable school seems to get its name from the birds of the same flock - children pushed by parents for academic excellence. Parents nosing around to compare grades of their kids with the others and stuff like that. 

So are we here to go through the same old shit at a different place? Are we here for the fresh air and sparse space only? That is something Jen and I have to sit down and talk about carefully. Once our goals are aligned, we will know where to go. 

1 comment:

  1. The private school education is way too costly. It cost 20k per child per year. For calculative Asian parents, it is a better investment to purchase house in good public school zone rather than paying the private school. Most Australians are willing to send their children to private school if they can afford. This ended up with good public school loaded with Asian students.

    You would not want to send your children to average public school. The students have domestic problem like single parent, unemployed parents, step parents, refugee back ground etc. There is no atmosphere to study and excel. Average private schools despite cheaper but still well below good public school.

    I gone through all this. The last private school that my children went to is like an overage child care centre.

    Asian alike, we finally decided to move to the good school zone. Better living environment too with low crime rate, leafy street and safer neighborhood.

    Having said that, my friends still send their children to private schools. Their argument is they would like their children to mix with the upper class, sons and daughter of successful businessmen, doctors and lawyers in order to build their connection and pave for their future. A Chinese friend of mine try very hard to convince me.