Last Monday was a public holiday so I did not get to visit the other kindies until Tuesday.
After I dropped by the Methodist Church kindy (the one Darrius will be attending) we made our way to two other kindies which are further away along Free School Road. I went alone with Darrius as PiggyBeng has to work that day. There are a total of 2 kindies along that stretch that we found, one is a chain child care and the other is a Montessori. What I like about this area is, it is more peaceful as there are not many cars passing by and all the buildings are bungalow units so the compound is huge… a lot of running space.
School No.4 – A Chain kindergarten cum Child Care
This is apparently another popular chain kindy cum child care among Penangites. They typically have lots of play huts and slides at the front of their building so to attract attention. Actually I don’t mind having outdoor furniture but I don’t quite like having those ‘mini playgrounds’ within the school compound as this will definitely distract some kids’ attention… especially my Darrius!!!
I was greeted by a lady who appeared to be the admin staff and she brought me in to her office for a chat. She gave me a form to fill in and later explained to me the types of programs they have. Similar to School No. 3, they have the basic nursery, kindy, half day care and full day care. She also showed me some of the books which are used by the 4 years old class.
As it was the mid of the 2nd semester, they are spending a lot of the school period for their concert practices so she did not advice me to enroll Darrius this year instead she kept telling me to join their holiday program. Thus, I asked if they provide any trial sessions? Well, they do but I must pay RM15/day… but again she stressed that nothing much will be taught since they will used a huge chunk of the time doing dance practices for their up coming event.
Before we leave, I asked to be showed around. The number of students for each class is pretty big… at least 15 students and above. They have a good mix of teachers and students though as I saw some Indian teachers around.
This place looks slightly better than School No. 3 but I still feel it is rather over ‘populated’. Also they want us to buy 2 sets of uniforms + 1 set of sport wear and a kiddie bag (don’t know for what???)
I told PiggyBeng about it and he told me his colleague has warned him that this chain is very good at making their students in memorizing…
Fee = RM170/mth for Kindy (inclusive of snack but not with other misc charges)
Next, we drove on the same road and discovered another school which is based on Montessori teaching. I think this school is quite new as I’ve never seen it before until Darrius prompted me that it was a school there.
We went in while the kids were having their playing session on the grass patch outside the school. It is also a bungalow unit with a very huge compound.
School No.5 – Another Montessori
The director/principal greeted us and we were invited to the ‘office’ where she explained their program to me while she gave some toys to entertain Darrius. Basically, I quite like the set up in this school. Very spacious, large out door compound, clean, bright and everything are very orderly and not as cluttered as the 1st Montessori school we went the week before. Very conducive.
As I noticed, the school has very few students (probably why they charge higher by about RM100 more) and the ratio of student teacher is pretty good…. 6 students to 3 teachers. And from what I understood, most of the teachers are qualified Montessori educators. Quite impressive and thus for the high charges.
Besides computer classes, they also have cooking classes and school excursions as part of their half day program. And another thing is, they even have swimming session every Friday! Darrius was so delighted when we were shown the pool! According to the program, there will be art and crafts, music, story telling and phonetic songs for those 4 years and above.
Well, I really like this place but the only thing is, they do not have much emphasize on Mandarin. The main conversant language is English though all the teachers will also use certain dialects to communicate with particular students. Another thing to note is, they operate the entire November for all programs but for December only available for full day program.
They do have trial sessions but we have to pay RM25/session.
Fee = RM400/mth with 1 month deposit
Material Fee (per/annum) = RM600 (RM300/6 months)
Uniform = RM50/set (very expensive!)
Registration Fee = RM200 (so much!)
I am trying to look out for other kindies too which are located ‘on the other side’ of the road where morning traffic could be a major problem. It is no easy task I must say!