As a concerned parent, I am compelled to write and share the journey my daughter and I took when she started the first year of her IB program at ACS (I) and the final decision to leave after the second year. This decision was a consequence of an inept, arbitrary execution of decisions and the persistent reluctance to account truthfully to enquiries and investigations carried out by my wife and I.
Before I proceed with the details, let me preface this by saying that the teaching staff at the school were excellent and a huge source of regret that my daughter was not able to fully enjoy their care and concern for more than her two years there. Bouquets for their dedication and care are due insofar as they are concerned.
I wish I could say the same for the staff in charge of dealing with non-academic matters. In this regard, I have no hesitation in citing Dr Kris Achter Vice Principal for Year 1 and 2.
Dr Achter has displayed a reluctance to provide information when requested and in instances when basic requests like the school’s Standard Operating Procedures was requested, there was no courtesy of a reply.
There was also an instance where concerned parents were communicating amongst themselves in the interest of getting clarity over oftentimes, common student teacher differences. Instead of embracing the effort in the interest of fostering better teacher parent relationships, we are accused of trying to build a case against the teacher. This may well be in the West , but here respect for the teacher is still paramount . A crucial value sadly not grasped by the VP.
Unfortunately I had first-hand experience on this. Dr. Achter arbitrarily imposed a punishment on my daughter in the absence of a full and fair investigation over an incident which absolved my daughter and another. The guilty party was then forced to be punished, when confronted with irrefutable evidence of this travesty of justice.
As if to cover up for his ineptitude in handling this incident, he petulantly sent us a Code of Conduct For Parents and Guardians implying we had rudely bridged the boundaries benchmarked by the school. It was a blatant action to show he was well shielded by the school policies and how little we, the incensed parents , could do.
However the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was the incident relating to my daughter’s departure from the school. Dr Achter informed us in no certain terms that in my daughter’s best interest, she should consider leaving the school. To affirm his suggestion, he then pronounced that the decision was arrived at upon consultation with all the teachers. How much would it shock you to know that this senior staff member of ACS(I) would commit untruths of this nature. It was a good but not happy thing that I decided to get to the bottom of this. After thorough investigation, not only was I able to document emails that showed it was the exact opposite of what Dr Achter had claimed. Such extraordinary lengths to cover what originally was a lie is totally unbecoming of the Vice Principal of this leading educational institution.
In the light of this incident the fact that he is the headmaster for Year 1 and Year 2 is hardly inspiring of confidence not only for the school but for the way we expect the educational values and principles of moral values to be taught to our children.
To seek to control the teachers in ensuing that his lie be upheld is especially galling and made worse by the fact that he can do so with such impunity given the lack of coverage of the Ministry of Education’s rules and regulations - ACS (I) being a Privately Funded School.
I write this not so much as to discourage you from sending your children to ACS(I) seeing as there are many other schools to choose from. But for those who believe that their children could benefit from this unique environment that is ACS(I), it would certainly not be a bad thing to be aware that even in an environment as special as this, there are sadly, elements below par that may tarnish somewhat the allure of this school.
1 other review for ACS International Singapore
My boys ( Year 5 and Year 4 ) really enjoyed studying in ACS( International ) . They really excel in the school's holistic and Christian environment and the House System and CCA really allow them with growth opportunities in leadership, sports , team building and more. Love that my boys do not require tuition as the school provides support time where they can clarify questions with teachers weekly. The school emphasis on values and character is what we love most . Teachers and staffs are very student centered , encouraging and approachable. My boys love going to school and made really great friends globally.