A child in Singapore undergoes six years of primary education, comprising a four-year foundation stage from Primary 1 to 4 and of a two-year orientation stage from Primary 5 to 6. The subjects taught are English, the Mother Tongue, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Art and Craft, Music, Health Education, Physical Education and Civic Education. At the end of Primary 6, students sit for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE).
Students attend four or five years of secondary school education under the Special, Express or Normal stream. The Special and Express Courses prepare students for the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education 'Ordinary' Level Examination (GCE 'O' level) in four years. With this 'O' level certificate, students can do their post-secondary education in the local polytechnics or junior colleges. They can also choose to study overseas.
Pre-university (Junior College / Centralised Institute)
Junior colleges and centralised institutes prepare students for the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education 'Advanced' Level Examination (GCE 'A' level) in two to three years.
The five Singapore polytechnics offer a variety of diploma courses such as Banking and Financial Services, Mass Communications, Engineering, Logistics Management, Design, Nutrition, Health and Wellness, Biomedical Sciences, International Business, etc. Each diploma course runs for 3 years. Foreign students can apply for tuition grants. Polytechnic graduates are valued as practice-oriented and knowledgeable middle-level professionals, much sought after by industries. Upon graduation, students can apply for Singapore permanent residence.
Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs)
The six local universities in Singapore are National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) , Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS). They have strong affiliations with top overseas universities. They provide outstanding graduates with internationally recognized degrees. Research and scholarship opportunities are also available to post-graduate students.