This is a query I get asked a lot by parents in Hong Kong.
This comes down to how important these following factors:
- How important is Chinese fluency to your family? Do you want your child to be fluent in reading and writing Chinese or are you satisfied with your child being able to converse albeit not at a native level?
- Do you prefer rote learning vs inquiry-based learning? Local schools tend to be based on rote learning with a teacher out the front and dictations and examination, a lot of this is regurgitation. International Schools on the other hand are inquiry based, they encourage students to think outside the box and to explore the world around them. Teachers are facilitators in this process.
- What do you want your child to do in the future? Many students who want to go to secondary school or university want to go overseas, international school is a good preparation for this.
- Budget, sadly international schools are generally too pricey for local families
- We do not speak English at home. Does this affect our chances to enter International School? No it really depends how much English exposure your child has, not only at home, but also with friends, social activities and so forth.