One community, a world of difference

16th Dec 2016

Most school administrators talk about their educational philosophies, their wonderful school facilities, or even their achievements and accolades. We can go on and on about those.

I want, this time, to highlight our parents – those people who sacrificed a lot to put their children through an international school. Many international schools are not cheap, especially in expensive Singapore, where fees range from S$7000+ per annum at the Global Indian School to S$41,000+ per annum at the Tanglin Trust School. At S$28,000+ per annum, the Hillside World Academy is probably smack in the middle.

Many of our western parents left their home nations for a job in Singapore, and one of them is usually a trailing spouse. They left behind the comforts of friends and relatives back home, for a life in a nation far away from home. With expat packages dwindling or even non-existent in a challenging global economic climate, even the cost of a school like HWA poses sacrifices they must make financially to make it possible for their child to get a quality education.

Most of the Chinese parents here accompanied their children to study in Singapore, leaving behind their career and spouse in China. Life in Singapore is very different from life in China, where language is not an issue, where they get easy access to domestic helpers who speak their language or help from their extended families. The sacrifice they made reminded me of the story of 孟母三迁, the mother of Mencius who uprooted her son and her three times just to make sure Mencius found himself a place where he could grow up a gentleman.

I find myself appreciating more and more our great parents community here at HWA. They are always around when we need support, to give feedback, to run and support the many activities that I have in mind for the school. It made me even more determined to make sure the school is well-run. A school, after all, exists to serve its community.

And here at HWA, we have a fantastic community.

Michael Chan 曾俊成

Principal 校长

Hillside World Academy

 

通常学校的管理者都喜欢谈论他们的教育理念、他们豪华的校园设施甚至是他们取得的成就和赞许。当然,我们也可以一直谈论这些。

但是,这次我想重点谈一谈我们的家长们-那些为了让他们的孩子在国际学校读书而做出极大牺牲的人。很多国际学校学费是不便宜的,尤其是在昂贵的新加坡。学费通常从每年7000多新币(印度国际学校)到41000多新币(东陵信托学校)之间。而每年28000多新币的HWA可能刚好在中间位置。

我们许多西方家长背井离乡来到新加坡工作,与他们的配偶随行而来。他们离开家乡的亲朋好友来到一个遥远的国家生活。随着外派工作者福利在极具挑战的全球经济危机影响下逐渐减少甚至取消,即使是像HWA这样的学校的费用,也必须在经济上做出牺牲,以便使他们的孩子可以得到优质的教育。

很多中国家长放弃他们的事业、离开他们的另一半来到新加坡陪读。 在中国,他们不会面对语言不通的问题、他们可以轻易的找到可以沟通的保姆或者从他们的大家庭寻求帮助,而在新加坡情况却完全不同。他们为孩子做出的牺牲让我想起孟母三迁的故事,孟子的母亲为了儿子找到一个茁壮成长的地方而三次搬家。

此刻,我对HWA的家长们更加满怀感激。他们总是出现在我们需要的时刻,给我帮助、建议,为学校举办和支持各种各样我可以想到的活动。这些都让我更加坚定的相信学校是在正确的轨道上。归根到底,学校是为了服务其社区而存在的。

Michael Chan 曾俊成

Principal 校长

Hillside World Academy