We are at a stage in Aidan's life where we need to decide our education strategy. We want the best education for our kids but I believe that most traditional schools have outdated curriculum. Aidan belongs to the Generation Z and I believe that only progressive schools can meet their needs. We don't want to be close minded on this so we will be doing more research on the different schools in Metro Manila in the next few months. Suggestions are welcome.
Aidan's generation is different. As early as 2 years old, Aidan begun tinkering with our computer at home. He likes to visit the kiddie sites such as Starfall and Disney clubhouse on his own. We have stopped watching television(including us!) because of the negative impact of TV. When I was in Boracay, we were doing video calls via computer. Aidan's generation has NOT witnessed People Power 1&2, September 11 terrorist attacks, Glorietta bombings or the Tsunami in South East Asia. I believe that their generation would be more nationalistic, conscious about the environment and technologically connected in ways that we cannot imagine. Mandarin and English would still be the key to doing successful business in the future.
My preference would be the International Schools (like IS or Brent) but they are very expensive because you are paying for the Expat educators. Ateneo and La Salle, on the other hand, are more traditional in nature and I hear stories of 1 teacher: 40+ students ratio similar with our times. One consideration is Xavier School which already upgraded their curriculum and are very progressive. We are also interested with Reedley International School because of its core values and International School curriculum that they follow. We attended the orientation last December 2007 @ Reedley, and let me share with you what Reedley has to offer...
We are considering an international school program where the academic curriculum and knowledge is at PAR with the international schools outside the Philippines. They are required to learn another language which is Mandarin. Aidan will be expected to work with different nationalities and respect their customs and traditions at the same time valuing the Filipino traditions. The teaching style is more exchanging of ideas vs. the teacher downloading information and the student memorizing it.
I liked Reedley's core values which is aligned with our core values. I want Aidan's school to be truly a second home for him where he knows most of the students and teachers by first name. I like the positive culture of discipline they are fostering with focus on understanding the reason for discipline and its consequence versus the focus on punishment. Reedley boast dozens of case studies on turnaround cases where a happy-go-lucky student became enthusiastic about school and a bullied student and pressured by peers in the big schools transforms into being assertive, confident and knowing all about conflict resolution. Finally, I like the focus on finding the child's unique skills, gifts and talents and aligning the child towards his divine destiny.
I also like the very low student: teacher ratio where the teachers can really focus on the learning of the students. The maximum class size for lower school is 1teacher : 15 students.
We interviewed a Reesian and we only get great rave reviews from the kid. Have you looked into Reedley? Or are your kids enrolled in this school? Maybe you can share your experience with us.
Life Skills are also taught which includes teaching the 7 habits of highly effective teens, instilling virtues, learning conflict resolution skills, understanding emotional quotient, and reaching out to less fortunate brothers and sisters.
Mrs. Ong, founder of Reedley, shared her beliefs during the December orientation:
" I believe that with an international education, our kids are given lots of opportunities and seemingly more unique ways of learning, inside and outside of the classroom, less structured but more participatory discussions on: Global issues, economics and polities, 21st century technology, society's ills, and other relevant and worldly concerns. "
" I believe that a good school highly enables its students to have an excellent grasp of the English language in order to survive, to communicate well, and to promote Bi-lingualism."
" I believe that a both Parents and the School are responsible to help children discover ways to make good use of Life's Greatest Gift... the Gift of Learning."
" I believe that a good school is one where: RESPONSIBILITY and HARD WORK are deeply instilled; GOOD MORALS and DISCIPLINE become our children's way of life."
The tuition fee is twice that of a traditional school but a lot lower than the other International School in the country because they don't employ expats. Since they are an IS school, they don't have a focus on Christian formation which is one of the criteria I was looking for in a school. I grew up with Salesian brothers and priest in Don Bosco Makati and I was hoping Aidan to get the same Catholic formation which I won't get in Reedley International School.
We still have time to do research about other progressive schools before Aidan turns 6. Any suggestions on awesome progressive schools in Metro Manila?
For more information on Reedley: Reedley International School