View Full Version : Where to Send my 14 year old Son to Senior High School
My eldest son, who is 14 in May, needs to transfer to Senior High School for the next school year. He lives in Cibubur, grew up in England and is basically an English kid who speaks only below average Indonesian.
Deciding the School and at an affordable cost is a very difficult family decision. Send him to an Indonesian State school and have the subjects mostly taught in Indonesian? Send him away to a Boarding School (there is one in Sentul but hey the registration fee alone is 100 million). Go to one of the many International Schools around Jakarta but the fees are 6 million a month or more and that is stretching it also when your income in this country is modest.
How much power and influence does a 14 year old have over his parents in choosing the school he goes to and basically blackmailing his parents into sending him to the school of his choice at a cost which is not within limits? The assertion should be other way around but with the marriage breakdown, I have a child spoilt by my ex wife while current school fees remain unpaid. Long story.
Logically 6 years living in Indonesia, my Son should have sufficiently adapted to be able in Indonesian subjects but he cant and he wont, hence the problem, both of cost and location. Are there any other ex pat parents experiencing a similar schooling problem for their kids.
What I want to say is, well stuff it, force him to go to the State school or at least a reputable one and save the money for University rather than consume what money there is for three years of final education in Grades 10 11 and 12. I wish in a way we could return to Uk for free State education but that is not going to happen.
Any thoughts on the subject which could be useful, much appreciated. I think it is most likely to be the local LaPs school but it is not an ideal choice.
How about National Plus Schools, which offer Cambridge IGCSEs? Or homeschooling?
Hmm, tricky one. Water under the bridge of course but the ideal time frame for the state school in total immersion would have been 6 years ago.
And now the most difficult years come being a teenager. Difficult to force something at that age (if they don't like it, they just won't do it) and many conflicts. And the money you are saving for Uni might not be necessary at all then. I spent quite some funds on studies which in hindsight was lost money.
So what I understand is that he wants to do an International School? And you will stay in RI for the foreseeable years? Is boarding school in the UK an option?
The Best thing i would share is my own experience. When it comes down for an Expat's kid to go to school in Indonesia (Specially International School) it cost an arm and a leg. But think it's for your kid...You should be able to do anything for their Education.
Mrcibubur, so you haven't got any plan to go back to UK? If so, then, you should use your own initiative to teach and educate your kids English.
To be honest my daughter of 4 speaks 3 languages so far. English, French and Bahasa Indonesia. Not to forget she is learning Mandarin as well. We need to teach them what we know and about our country.
BINUS INTERNATIONAL is a good one but expensive, but think 10 years after, the kid will be ready....
My Son of 14 speaks English as his Mother tongue and he has learnt Indonesian (with difficulty) to moderate fluency but not to sufficient level to learn subjects in Indonesian language in Grades 10 11 and 12. If I had money, of course, to meet the educational liability for him at High School International or National Plus) then it would be paid by me unquestioningly but I am caught between a divorce where my ex wife has squandered the assets which would and should have been his school fees and a new wife who is obviously resistant of my obligation to pay school fees which my ex wife ought to pay. My 14 year old actually also speaks some mandarin and Japanese also and a little Sunda, the extent of his bi-lingual ability is not really the issue but being able to send him to a School for his educational needs.
In cibubur alone, he has attended three different schools to date since settling here in 2005, a fourth one is on the cards for High School. It really is a family issue and not an easy one to solve. My own financial resources are very limited. It is also advantageous that you can live with your children. In my case, I am not only disadvantaged by not living with them but by an ex wife who spends little time mothering them and that is the real let down in the link in our family between parent and child for education. Personally I am trying everything everything I possibly can and I think I have already sacrificed everything for my childrens education.
Yes, I would like to send my son back to Uk for Boarding School but the sheer cost of that is defeating and it is just a pipedream.
I think you already know what to do, it's just that you don't want to go through with it. If you don't have the money, then you can't pay for the fancy school, end of story. Figure out the maximum amount of money you can spend on his education, then discuss it openly with your son and your ex-wife. He is her son too. If she still refuses to chip in, then it's not your problem anymore. They can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.
There are worse things that can happen to a 14-year old boy than a state school, like being unable to afford a school at all and living on the street. There are many 14-year old boys eking out a living on Indonesian streets. It's time for your boy to grow up just a little bit more. He is half Indonesian, I assume, so it's time for him to exercise that half and learn to make do with what he has.
Sorry if I sound harsh, but I know many people who would kill for a chance to go to school, any school. A 14-year old boy who demands to go to an elite school (or else) rubs me the wrong way.
I wish to do the best for my son that I can in all the circumstances. My ex wife seized all my assets back in 2009 through the Divorce and I have no assets or savings to call upon to contribute towards my Sons schooling. My ex wife obtained a court Order to be responsible for my two sons of the marriage yet squandered much of the assets which should have been used to pay for the schooling. It remains my problem because I have a conscience as a father for my son to be educated.
Yes, School, any School must be the order of the day but my ex wife talks of sending him to the Sentul Boarding School and then to a Pilot School and selling the house I live in to pay the school fees. I have never been able to afford a lawyer in Indonesia to fight my case and waste yet more money, though many lawyers I have consulted. That side of things is not the substance of my thread, my Sons better education is.
The most likely is a local Laps School but I am tormented in being unable to contribute towards his schooling fees. His present school is national Plus standaqrd but offering him Cambridge exams later this month, he is the only one in his Grade 9 taking them. His fundamental problem, may I repeat, is that his basic Indonesian is not good enough for subject matters in Grades `10 11 and 12.
I really appreciate your input, Injun. Can I also say, I am not looking for a shoulder to cry on or to cry over spilt milk,what is done is done and there appears to be no way to redress the issues of the divorce, so life goes on. the crux will come in the summer I guess when the final decision must be taken.
Of course as a father you want what's best for your sons, but you need to stop assuming responsibility for the mess you didn't create. Your ex wife squandered most of the education fund and you can only afford x amount of money, that's a fact that all of you need to understand fully.
His Indonesian may not be good enough for now, but if the money is not there he needs to learn quickly or risk staying in the same grade for another year. Maybe staying for one more year in an Indonesian class is exactly what he needs. My sister's English was poor as hell, and the English language school she went to in the States only had 10 levels (one level a month). In just 10 months she was expected to be proficient enough to take university-level classes in English. She is not particularly book smart, so if she can do it, so can your son. I'm quite sure your son's Indonesian is better than my sister's English when she started.
mrcibubur were you meant to say Labschool High (SMU IKIP)? if this is correct, what a small world. I am an alumni! I went to Labschool in Rawamangun (the first Labschool in existence). I graduated in 2001, fond memories that I so dearly keep in my mind. Labschool is a very good Indonesian private school. All of Suharto's (second Indonesian president) grandchildren, Mochamad Hatta's (Indonesia's first vice president) grandsons, as well as quite a few Indonesian ministers and business conglomerats' children (Setiawan Djody's kids for instance) went there too when I was there. One of Hatta's grandson was my best friend for 14 years. (thought getting into a relationship was a good idea after YEARS of being best friends..yaa, NO. - we broke up, and of course things were never the same after that).
Thank you Sari for the recommendation in favour of Labs School. I think that is what I mean but I am still in the process of checking out, constraints of time and other pressing family commitments. the one I have in mind is at Kranggan near to Cibubur.
She is Professional and you may ask her- she is Teacher and know many teacher and schools : http://www.livinginindonesiaforum.org/showthread.php/23188-International-Primary-and-High-school-Tutoring
Ashtonb1 - it would make for more transparency if you were to reveal your connections with the educational institution you have touted in (I think) 100% of your posts on the forum.
mr cibubur...I am a teacher and i am planning to open a homeschooling group in Jogja using Oxford Homeschooling program this September. I do homeschooling using British curriculum everytime we are in Indonesia with our son who is now 14 years old, because he has been educated in English school most of his schooling time. So it is that he is familiar with and we can't afford International School's fee. The downside with homeschooling that the child can get a bit isolated because is not enough social interaction with other child of similar age. That is why i am planning to make a group in Jogja where we are going to live. The cost of the program is about £350 per subject plus GCSE exam fee. Just google Oxford Homeschooling.
Thank you Snowdrop for your input. It is something to consider.
My ex wife wants to send my Son now to the local Labs school which is actually a glorified national plus Islamic school promoting itself under redevelopment as bilingual and international. No gym, library, swimming pool or proper canteen. Yes it is pretty much on the family doorstep and the joining fees are cheap but my Son would be the only Christian at the school and I can only feel it would be a backward step for him there.
Actually, as proposed by another Forum member, I want return him to Springfield at Raffles Hills but I do not have the money to meet the joining fee and the yearly fees, nor does my wife. Springfield is the ex Tirry Bangsa International School. My son did attend this school for two years until divorce ensued in 2009. He also attended Global Mandiri in Legenda Wisata when first coming to Cibubur in 2005. He currently schools at Sekolah Pilar which is 3 million a month for Grade 10 plus the upgrade joining fee of 30 million from Grade 9 to 10. Money my ex wife and I do not have.
As a father, I am also torn emotionally on the issue between my current wife who does not want me to sink further in the financial mire and swamp of my ex while my ex makes me feel forever guilty for not contributing. No winner there. I want my Son in the correct school come July and the decision still cannot be made.
Snowdrop, perhaps you would be so kind as to mail me directly to discuss exactly what you are thinking for the course and how it could operate for my Son.
Labschool Rawamangun has a proper library, cafeteria, indoor gym, media room, and science laboratories (for Biology and Chemistry) among other new facilities they have built over the last 11 years. Have you thought about putting him there instead of the Labschool in Cibubur? It can be quite the commute, but if he is getting a good education it might be worth it.
His Indonesian shouldn't be a problem... if he's forced to he'll be fluent within a few months. He's still young so it'll be easy for him to learn to speak it as well as his Indonesian friends in no time.
as parent we'll do the best for education of our kids. However, it 'is also necessary to pass the responsibility to him/her - in fact, in my opinion this can be more crucial than the school itself - and as other said, he will survive anywhere if he want.
I notice you live in Kotawisata area, we live there until early 2005 and still pulang kampung 2 - 4 times a year
I think there's several good school around the area.
Everytime we pulang kampung, my daughters always keep in touch with her old freind from various school in cibubur; we also try to benchmark the level of education, in my opinion more less on par with one of the best British School in south east asia, where my daughter was. She's now in boarding school in Plymouth, UK.
And she always speak english with all her friends in cibubur - I'm quite surprise their english are quite good.
He's still young so it'll be easy for him to learn to speak it as well as his Indonesian friends in no time.
As a matter of science, that is not true. By age 14, the plasticity of the young brain with respect to language is already gone. If you don't learn a second language by age 8 or so, you will never pick it up as quickly or fluently as a child does. (There are exceptions, of course - but they are rare people with a true knack for languages. I'm talking about 98% of the population.)
A 14 year old will have the same difficulty learning a second language as a 30 year old. The teenager's only advantage is that, as a young person, their memory is probably better. But their language learning ability is pretty much identical.
(I don't have a degree in linguistics, but reading linguistics books is a hobby of mine and I'm very interested in the topic of language acquisition. So take what I say with a grain of salt, but a pretty small one.)
As a matter of science, that is not true.
The best age to 'learn' a foreign language is between 6 and 14 years old.
One still can learn the language without accent (after 14, that becomes complicated). Also, after 6 a child has and understanding of different languages and understands the written concept. That helps a lot and will make sure they don't mix up the languages.
Thanks for those who have replied on the Thread which I have initiated. It is of course very personal so far as my son is concerned but it may provide broader substance to anyone who is toying over the same options.
I have lived in Cibubur since 2005 so I know the Schools around here. Commuting to the school is as much an issue as what the School offers. Not to mention the costs.
Springfield would be my first choice based at Raffles Hills. My Son attended this school for two years 2008-09. Basically for Senior High, the joining fee is 38 juta, plus 60 million a fee for two semester Terms, plus another 5 million for books, uniform and medical tests. Completely beyond my family budget even if my ex wife and I were still together. 100 million up front I do not have or anything close to it.
Prior to Springfield, my Son attended Global Mandiri at Legenda Wisata, on a par pretty much with his present school Sekolah Pilar, both offering bilingual in Maths and Science but not fully pledged to International School status. Here, joining fees are 30 million for the three months and monthly fees (paid up front again) based on 3 million a month. As things stand, that is also beyond our affords.
Snowdrop has suggested considering being educated based on the English schooling using a Home Schooling system. I will consider this once I have all the relevant information and costs. Paying 2 to 3 million a month for school fees is not a problem but finding a lump sum payment of anything such as 30 million or more is completely beyond us, even by raising a Bank Loan. My Uk assets have been liquidated and wasted for want of another word by ...... let me say no more!
Leaves me back to national plus Schools such as Labs. Labs Kranggan is cheap but has full quota. Labs Bumi Mutiara is a school in development and lacks facilities. Labs Rawamangun is indeed another option but then there is the commuter cost and how to manage my Sons schooling there. Moving from Cibubur for 'catchment' like we do in Uk is not an option here. Victory Plus at Kemang Pratama is another option but probably comparable in cost to Global Mandiri and Pilar.
So what to do? Still stewing!
Have you considered signing up with Jemputan (car pool)? Its a pick up and drop off service (privately owned). When I went there my parents signed me up for it. We didn't live far but it was very convenient. 11 years ago, the cost was about Rp.50,000 a month , I can't imagine it being more than Rp. 500,000 nowadays per month. Its like a shuttle service to and from the school. This might solve your transportation problem from Cibubur - Rawamangun.
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