ACS (International) to set up 2 more schools in Indonesia, including Kura Kura Bali

  • News
  • 08 May 2024

SINGAPORE - Home-grown Anglo-Chinese School (International), popular with Singaporeans and foreigners, is spreading its wings, with plans to set up an elementary school in Singapore and to open two more schools in Indonesia, including one in Bali by the end of 2025.

The 10-storey elementary school building, which is being built on the same site as its high school near Holland Village, can take in 450 pupils from Years 1 to 6 (seven to 12 years of age) in January 2026. The pupils will follow the Cambridge Primary curriculum offered by Cambridge International Education.

Part of the new building will be used to cater to growth in its high school enrolment, from the current 1,100 students to 1,400. The high school, which opened its doors in 2005, offers a six-year programme leading to the International General Certificate of Secondary Education in Year 4 and the two-year International Baccalaureate diploma in Year 6.

Mr Tan Wah Thong, chairman of the ACS (International) board of management, said that while half of the places in the high school are set aside for Singaporeans, the elementary school will not be open to locals. Under the Compulsory Education Act, Singaporeans must undergo primary school education in government or government-aided schools.

On the two new schools in Indonesia, Mr Tan said the one sited in North Jakarta is a fair distance away from an existing one set up in 2000 in South Jakarta and hence will have a different catchment area. He said the school in North Jakarta is still in its initial stage of planning.

The other new school, a full elementary and high school in Bali, will be in Kura Kura, an island linked by a short causeway to mainland Bali that has been designated as a special economic zone by the Indonesian government. It is a 15-minute drive from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Mr Rob Burrough, former principal of ACS (International) in Singapore, has been appointed principal of ACS Bali and is already on the island working on the set-up of the school.

Mr Zakki Hakim, spokesman for Kura Kura Bali Special Economic Zone, confirmed that ACS Bali has started construction in Kura Kura’s knowledge district.

In an e-mail reply to The Straits Times, he said: “ACS Bali’s presence will support Kura Kura to become a prototype in transitioning Bali from mass tourism to a quality tourism hub for education and eco-innovation.”

He said that within the next five years, Kura Kura Bali is poised to develop an international marina, a retail complex, intercultural schools for elementary to high school students, hotels and residential villas, and other opportunities within new sectors in tourism that cover education, medical, digital technologies and the creative industries.

On the new school being planned in North Jakarta, Mr Tan said that since the setting up of the existing one in South Jakarta in 2000, the ACS brand of education has become popular among locals and expatriates in Indonesia. In recent years, he said, it has become even more popular, as several of its students made it to top universities in the US and Britain, including Oxford and Cambridge.

He added that ACS (International) in Singapore has 500 or so foreigners, including a fair number of Chinese, South Korean, Malaysian and Indonesian students.

One former student is Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s younger son Kaesang Pangarep, who graduated in 2016. Mr Widodo made headlines when he and his wife Iriana flew economy class to Singapore to attend their son’s graduation ceremony, where he received his certificate for completing his International Baccalaureate diploma.

Mr Tan said that within a few years of its founding, the school has had to maintain a waiting list of both Singaporeans and foreigners. Over the years, many parents, including Singaporean ones, have also asked for an elementary school to be set up, he said.

“We are glad to have the opportunity to enable more young people to benefit from the ACS brand of education, known for developing well-rounded students, many of whom have become leaders in industry and government.”

Mr D. Devadas, 44, a Singaporean businessman, has been eyeing a place in ACS (International) for his 12-year-old daughter and looking out for when more places open up in the high school.

“I want her to have an International Baccalaureate education when she gets to secondary school, as I do believe she is more suited for it, so I am glad that ACS (International) will be opening up more places. I do wish though that the Government will allow Singaporeans to attend the elementary school as well, as I would like my younger daughter to attend the same school as her sister.”

Indonesian parent Lita Damayanti, who is considering ACS Bali as an option for her son, who is currently studying in ACS (International) in Singapore, said she likes the school’s focus on both studies and extracurricular activities.

Said the businesswoman: “Like many Indonesian parents, I am keen on schools in Singapore because they are known for producing students who are strong in (studies).

“What I like about ACS (International) is also the wide range of activities that the school encourages its students to take part in, which I feel is very important to build the character of young people.”


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