Monday, 9 March 2015

School Hunting

The tittle said it all. As the moving date to our new home drawing nearer, it's time for me to find new school for Andrew & Noelle. The task is daunting. My husband wanted the kids to be schooled in english environment, but he wants the school to be grounded (good mix between all social class), discipline, minimum top 20 in jakarta selatan or jakarta barat, and it can not be outragiously expensive.

Impossible? Well as a high D person, i love a challenge. So there i was, searching, to the corners of internet jungle for a list. List of the best elementary school in jakarta selatan & jakarta barat. 

What i found over and over again is a list of the best school based on their accreditation score. Which does not mean much for me. We wanted school with proven healthy environment & achievement (in academic & extracurricular thingy). We don't care much with facility. I mean, better teachers & driven friends are better than better facility. At least for us. 

At last! I found a list of elementary school scores on the last UN result! Eureka! :D

This list, of course shows only the school academic success. But then it made it easier for me to cross-reference it with my husband's requirements. I highlighted the ones i'm familiar with. Google a lot of school locations, made some calls to the ones near to our new home.

Finally it came down to 2 options. St.John Meruya or Permata Harapan Joglo for Andrew. Because both nearest to our home, english based, great-good academic & non academic achievements, good social class mix, and most importantly, AFFORDABLE!

Most english based school charge tuition fee in the range of 3,5-12 mio per month Development fee? They range from 12 mio to 120mio. All not including books, uniform, projects & extracurricular fees.

SD permata harapan ask 21 mio for development fee, 2,1mio tuition fee. St.John ask for 9 mio development fee, and 1,880 mio tuition fee. All not including books, uniform, projects & extracurricular fees. 

St.John is our first choice, because they are better in overall achievements, yet cheaper, aaand, Andrew is from St.John BSD, so he will be very familiar with St.John's curriculum. It's just, the route to st.john is potentially very jammed in the morning. 

For Noelle, i have my heart set on ISMILE in Belleza Permata Hijau. Unfortunately my wallet isn't in agreement with my heart. They charge 1200 Usd development fee (have to be paid every year!) plus 1200 usd tuition fee (for 3 months). *sad*

For Andrew, i don't feel bad choosing St.John, because it really is a good school, they just happen to be cheap too. But for Noelle, i feel guilty if i don't send her to ISMILE and have several Chanels & Louboutins in my closet. I argued with my husband, that 1 bag can finance Noelle's school for 1 year! I would rather sell the bags than send her to other school (drama ensued). 

My husband then asked, "what would you give for Freija then? Wont this conversation be repeated in 3 years? And remember, at that time we need to prepare for Andrew's Junior High fees etc. Will you then sell all your designer things for international schools? Can't you find schools like st.john for Noelle & Freija?"


To be honest, i kind of like Kinderfield in Joglo. Ruby goes to that school, and Anita sent her there based on my recommendation. It's a good school, i went there, did trials 2 years ago, even nearer to our house than Ismile & St.John. It asked only 6mio development fee and 1,5 tuition fee. Much cheaper than Ismile. I just... Feel so much guilt.

I berate my self, "Why aren't you doing everything you can for Noelle?"

Then i heard my dad's voice in my head. It's a memory of one conversation we had in the past.

"Nin, i didn't send you to the best and expensive school didn't i? At the time, everyone was sending their kids to Gandhi or JIS, but i didn't. I sent you to the best school that i can afford, and look how you and your sister turned out."

I understand that. I guess. Looking back, Tarakanita was a very discipline school. They did a lot of character building, that i can still identify in my character right now. I guess, how my sisters and i turned out also relied heavily on our parents values. school shaped our way of thinking. Our parents shaped our will, intentions and our hearts. 

I can't just choose the best school and be done with it. But, am i a bad mother if i send them to less expensive school? Does my intense participation in their education enough to compansate the (school quality) difference? 

I don't know. I still can't shake the guilt. But i have to make the decision today. 

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