Friday, March 4, 2011

Our Way Home 回家的路 - Back to School

You may want to start from the beginning...

From the day we arrived Kuala Lumpur to the start of new school year, we had 5 working days left! Yes, 5 working days and we had not even have a place for her in any schools!!

We could not do it much earlier in fact. Education ministry said without school leaving certificate, we can't  submit any application. The current school said that we will release the school leaving certificate towards the last few days of school when everything was returned. Chicken and egg, egg and chicken. Anyway, can't do much until we literally place our foot back home.

My husband and I decided to let our girl tried out the local school. It was a "harsh" decision considering she had been learning in international school environment. However, if you ask me now, I must say I have no regrets sending her to local school despite there were some negative comments about the system. Do read on...

We started our 1/5 workings day by visiting  the school we intended to send her. It was school holiday. The PIC said he was not sure if there was any vacancy. He directed us to Section 19 Shah Alam. So, we went all the way to Section 19. Believe me, it was not easy to find. The building has no frontage to the main road nor any prominent landmarks  nearby. There was only a very small signboard by the main road as you are approaching the junction. Anyway, we went there and were told that we had to submit at the education ministry first! And, we were directed to another place! Gosh...

After we went through it, the process was very simple actually. Somehow it was not spell out anywhere, nor in the ministry's website whatsoever (hope one day it will be!). It only took 3 days to get the approval from education ministry and on the 4th day we were at the new school already. I could not believe we could make it actually!

If we had taken the right path in the first place, it would not have been so hectic. Basically, it is like this.

1. Just make a call to the education ministry ( - tel. no. 603-8884 6000 / 603-7723 7070) to inquire for the nearest office your child should be registered with. Do not attempt to drop them any email, somehow nobody bothers to respond, I would not be surprised because I had dropped in several emails to some private schools near my place, I did not get any response either!!

2. Go straight to the ministry's office. Pick up the "returning from overseas form", fill them up. Do bring along at least 3 copies of the necessary documents namely:
- both parents (IC, passport - page with particulars + page bearing the immigration stamp stating the date you arrived home)
- school leaving certificate
- child's birth certificate/IC and passport (same as above)
- letter from employer to proof that you have been working overseas and now returning home

School results are not required for primary kids. You will be given 2 choices of schools. Be sure to find out which 2 schools you would like your child to enter prior to going there.

3. With the form duly completed and all details annexed accordingly, your application will be approved within an hour.

4. Next is to visit the allocation office which the officer will direct you where to go. This was the place I was directed by the school PIC in the first place which I am not suppose to visit until I get clearance from the education ministry. See, even the staff didn't know the correct procedure! Frankly, if these procedures are communicated well to the public, I strongly believe that the perception towards our government departments will be much favorable than now. Anyway, this is the place they will assign your child to the respective school. Submit the approved forms to the counter and come back on the 3rd working day.

5. You will receive the allocation letter on the 3rd working day. Be sure to start your day early to beat the queue!

Hurray, we got a seat! My heart is as heavy as a rock. I wasn't sure if this was the right decision, would it be the right path for her? Whether my girl is able to pull through because everybody says local school is a crazy place especially Chinese school and I am sending her to the crazy place!

Next - Our Way Home -First Week of School

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