Parent's Review of TES in Salmiya, Kuwait
What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
Pre-KG to 6?
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Once you have your Parent's Pass from the school you can drop off the kids or walk in with them (if you don't you must exchange a piece of ID for a temp pass,) but parking there is a nightmare as it's surrounded on all sides by narrow busy side streets which are always congested, so arrive early. There is a door to door bus service to nearly all over Kuwait but the price is astronomical for what you actually get. There is (for EACH CHILD) a 40KD deposit, 125KD for the first term, 125KD for the 2nd, and 95KD for the 3rd. Now convert that. What we have for our money is a crappy minivan with a Sri Lankan driver and 'maid,' and neither of them can speak very good English. Now times that by say, 6, (I think this is the SMALLEST amount of kids, and probably say 30? in the coach busses, and there are about 11 routes altogether.) You can see how much the 'bus company' is pulling in with YOUR MONEY. The school says, 'It has nothing to do with the busses,' yet they park on the school grounds all day and over the weekends.
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
We liked the school because we came from an 'open plan' type of school where the kids could run around outside or play in the shade and this is the way the TES is set up. All the other schools are more like hospitals- mostly everything is inside where there's a/c. My kids don't seem to mind the heat. There are no water fountains on the school grounds- they are all in the classrooms and kids & parents are directed to ensure water bottles are brought to school.
There are tons of extra-curricular activities if you have the money to burn for it. For one term of soccer it was 20KD per kid- what the money was actually for I don't know as it was held on the school grounds, with the school equipment, in his own PE gear, and he got no certificate or anything like that at the end of it! Anyway, yes the school has an excellent array of after school activities, if you don't care where your money goes.
What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?
Fantastic, can't rave on about how supportive they were for my kids in getting them up to speed for the schooling here! I was worried my kids would flounder coming into the British system but the staff were supportive, he had a few extra classes for 2 months and he was the top of his class end of that year. He came from kidergarten in Aust. to Gr1 here unable/unwilling to read and write and by the end of the year he was happily reading street signs and books to us, and writing and spelling like a champ.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
There is a parents association and they are active in holding fund raising events and activities and do more for the school that the school does for itself, considering the exorbitant school fees. They regularly call for volunteers and appear to be excellently organised.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
***Ensure that whoever is working in Kuwait gets the company to pay for the kids schooling worked into the contract as well as a company car or you are SUNK.*** Schooling in Kuwait for us with 2 kids (6 & 9) is around 5,000KD a year and that doesn't include the overpriced Bangladesh made uniforms, over priced average bus service, and the fact you seem to pay through the nose for EVERYTHING when the school does something. But I hear thats the same at EVERY school here in Kuwait.
But, we found the teachers to be excellent (read: made them study and learn- in a nice way,) were confident in seeing the parents, handed out challenging homework, and we like the actual outlay of the school. All the classrooms, PE hall, auditorium, and library (which is pretty good,) are well air conditioned. It has a decent pool with wading area and a couple of cushioned basketball/tennis/soccer courts. -Did I mention they are having a school excursion to Lapland (Sweden) for a week this year? Apparently it's 780KD pp everything paid for. We were told well in advance so you can have time to save up. Sounds nice.