I have spent the entire yesterday morning trying to find a school for son number one. He is turning four this August and obviously he is already in the schooling age. To be honest I have never thought I would come this far. Being a parent was way too out of my league and now I am in another phase of being one: finding a school. I am not getting the jitters of the momfever yet but I am sure I am getting there sooner or later. Probably on the first days of school which will be on September.
Turns out finding a school in Doha is not as easy as I thought it would be even for KG1, the first stage of education. I mean I would certainly understand if I am registering my son for Year one and so on, and the reason for not yet opening the registration was to wait the existing students re-registered because indeed they should be on the priority. But I am registering for KG1, the foundation stage. Who would re-register for KG1? KG0?
Luckily we are already in the 21st Century which means we can virtually visit the school without really moving our ass from the sofa. So basically what I did yesterday were finding the schools on the internet, visited their websites, checked out their curriculum and fee structures, and then gave a call to inquire about their registration process. Some of my findings are:
- Most of good international schools are full for the next academic year (2012/2013)
- Some english schools which are local based are opening registration, and their fees are three times higher than the international schools.
- Being British is one great advantage because most english schools are British based and they put the British on their top priority (doh!). For example, Doha English Speaking School have got 400 something on their waiting list, all are British and there is no way you can enter that list unless you are British.
- Cambridge International School are the best by far curriculum and fee wise but they are not opening their registration until first week of April. I am setting my eyes on this spot.
- Newton International School D-ring is by far the second option for me for their seemed-better curriculum and affordable fee. Still higher than Cambridge’s but at least reasonable.
Besides schools, I was also checking out some nurseries in town. My findings are:
- Tots Corner sounds good but their fee is killing, well at least for me.
- Most nursery are already full and only opening registration for September.
- Eldertree is opening but the way the receptionist took my phone call made me shivered. She reminded me to an old bitter lady who could kill with their eyes. I was thinking if the receptionist was already as scary as this what about the teachers? Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit but her voice was far from warm and friendly unlike the other voices from the other nurseries that I had phoned.
- Apple Tree by far is my favorite. Not only the name sounds delicious and cuddling, the fee was also reasonable and their location is quite near from the apartment.
The reason why I was also checking the nursery was because I intended to enroll son number one to the nursery before his actual schooling days. English is not our first language and although I speak with my children in English I feel nursery can enhance their interaction skill more. You know, so that they can be better prepared for school. However my husband has different opinion and his reason is understandable.
Since the schooling fee doesn’t come in cheap we have to carefully manage our sons schooling fund. We have joined timely schooling fund in our home country but we decided to keep it for their college. That leaves us with current cash flow for the school fee. Therefore sadly there would be no nursery for my sons at the moment but hopefully we can secure him a place in one of the good school we would like him to school at, Cambridge International School.
What is your experience about finding school for the first time for your son?