A Mom to a Pre-Schooler

Posted by Analyse at 6:51 PM

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Today is Louna's first day at the pre-school. The night before, we were able to let her pronounce her teacher's name which is Barbara. The next day, everybody was up quite early, too excited maybe to prepare ourselves for the first day. Even Frenchguy took his morning off to experience this special milestone with Louna.

Arriving there, some kids already started crying while Louna stared at them, holding our hands, quite teary-eyed herself. She was probably thinking if crying was SOP. Does she have to cry too? Then she started to try the new toys around, then moved from one table to another. She was even able to talk to another girl and asked her if she could take the toy camera. Then she started taking pictures till it was time for us to leave.

Teacher B took her hand trying to assure her that everything will be alright. She cried silently when we left. But like a spy, we peeked on the window before we left. There, she was already mingling with other kids. She in fact stopped crying in no time.

She was already smiling when we went back to fetch her. First day was a promise of a fruitful school year. Parents had worried faces when they brought their kids to school. But all those worried faces were replaced by happy faces, excited to know how their kids fared. My, still can't believe I'm one of those parents.

Private vs Public School

We've chosen to enroll her at a private school. So ok, alright. I have been constantly complaining of the amount we're paying for our taxes and how few of those euros we put in the government's pocket we get in return. And now that we get the chance to profit of those contributions by enrolling Louna at a public school, we've deliberately chosen to register her at a private school. Why?

- because with this strike-infested country, we're afraid we find ourselves hostage of this national malady. With the kind of work schedule we have, we can't afford to be absent because the teacher is on strike.
- because the principal at the public school didn't give us a good impression whilst the principal at the private school showed motivation and dynamism - a certain level of competitiveness which was a deciding factor for us.
- because we registered Louna on both schools and whilst we had all the information from the private school, we don't even know if Louna is indeed enrolled at the public school. We had no news.
- because smile is somewhat easier to give in that private school than in the public school (at least that's what I observed).

School Fees

I have written an entry on how school fees (and the cost of living in general) in the Philippines are extremely unproportional to the minimum wage of the Filipinos, wherein I got varied comments ranging from ok lang to grabe, sobra nga. I even expressed my sentiments on how we make education inaccessible to most of the Filipinos, and that alone is a start of discrimination.

This raging sentiment is fired up by the fact that if I were an engineer in the Philippines gaining an average salary as practiced today, most probably, I won't be able to send my kids to Mapua, my alma mater. Depressing, right?

Here in France, Frenchies complain about their prevailing system which for me remains reasonable. Well, they complain all the time, anyway. Let me illustrate:

For a private pre-school here in Dijon, we will pay 414€ (P28,040 at 1€ = P67.73) for a year fee distributed as follows:

Yearly Tuition Fee : 282€
Sport Activities : 58.5€
Inscription Fee : 47€
Catechism Contribution : 26.5€

Now, stop converting to Peso. Be factual. Minimum daily wage in France amounts to 60.79€ (1321.02€/month) for a 35h/week legal duration. A yearly fee at a private pre-school would represent less than 7 days of work.

Minimum daily wage in the Philippines amounts to P345 - P382 (~P10,000/month). Did I hear P100,000 yearly fee at a private pre-school still considered cheap in the Philippines? Well, at that rate, a yearly fee at a private school would represent 10 months of work in the Philippines.

Logical? Think again.


tintin said...

Look at Louna's hair! Now, is the teacher french? I didnt' think Barbara is a french name, or a common one anyway.

I'm glad everything went smoothly for the little girl. Yours is a preview of what I will have to go through I guess. I'll probably cry more than Mina. hehe.

Re: the wages. It's so sad. And i have no solutions, only questions and hope that it somehow changes.

Lucille said...

buti naman at hindi umiyak si louna! last tuesday 1st day ng mga anak ko, naku parang mabibingi ka sa iyakan ng ibang mga bata, while my kids tatawa-tawa lang, mas ako na naman uli ang maiyak! haha

mitch said...

I agree with what you said that sobrang mahal ng private school sa pilipinas. My 2 sisters now in college both studying in private school 1 is in FEU while the other is in UST and my youngest sister is studying in a private chinese school more or less their tuition fees amount to 240K a year. 80K per person. If they don't have a scholarship i don't think they can go to school with my salary from the philippines before.

As here in france based on my husband he said that sometimes it's not really better private schools than public schools as compared to manila. he said private school means that it is religioous school or for boys only something like that but it doesn't necessarily mean that their teaching method is better.

but i agree that the fee for now for a private pre school here in france is still affordable.

maria said...

O nga daw, mas maganda talaga sa private kasi sabi nila sa public daw eh magulo (ewan ko lang kung totoo sya kasi wala pa naman ako anak).

Analyse, ano ba itong CAF (Caisses d'Allocations Familiales). Naka-register ka ba dito? Para saan ba ito? Dapat ba pag dating dito sa France eh magpa-register dito sa CAF agad kahit walang anak pero kasal? Ang dami naman kasing pinapag-rehistrohan sa France. Pag walang trabaho, sa Assedic, tapos monthly may rendez-vous sa ANPE, yung iba ko na kakilala meron naman daw silang RMI, meron pa daw HLM, etc. Sorry ha, ang dami kong tanong, sana malinawan mo kami tungkol dito, kung may time ka lang... Merci.

Analyse said...

Tintin, yep, not a common name. But yes, she's French. Oh, enjoy every moment with Mina, time flies, imagine, I already have a pre-schooler.. I can't even believe it myself sometimes, lol.

Lucille, buti naman wala ng problema sa mga anak mo.. this morning, there were still a lot of kids crying.. louna didn't budge hehe.. she just kissed me goodbye and said, au revoir, à tout à l'heure.. big girl na no?

Mitch, your hubs is right. In fact, academic performance is not even in our criteria in choosing a private school. And anyway, it's not in pre-school that Louna could mold herself into becoming the next French president, lol. Public and private schools here in France are really comparable in terms of activities and academic excellence. They're followed closely by academic authorities.

It's really how we felt was better for Louna when we visited the 2 schools which became our deciding factor. and the catechism in the private school was a big plus. I'm not really religious but I'd like Louna to grow up knowing something about religion.

oh, you will see, when it's your time, you will also be confronted with a lot of questions and all decisions that you would take would be in function of what you feel is right for your kid.

Maria, not really, sometimes it depends in which area you reside.. that's why when buying a house, that was one of our criteria too.. that the area must be in a healthy environment.

CAF starts when you have a child because it's the government aide to help parents with finances concerning rearing of a child (mine is to cover a certain percentage of the nanny fee). RMI I think is given to those who really have low household revenu. So if your hubs for example is earning something which is over the RMI bareme, then you won't have any right to receive it. Yung HLM naman, sa housing yan.. the same, low household income families could apply for that so they could rent an appartment at a lower price..

I'm not really familiar with all the govt aids.. sorry ha. Student kasi ako when i arrived here.. so iba yung benefits.. I think in your case, Assedic lang yata.

Soy said...

Oh, the hair! How did you do the hair? She's sooo girly. I can't believe how comfy she is with her hairstyle!

And my apologies. I can't comment on the fees as well as the system of education. It's different from what I know, and the British system is similar in some ways to the French but also different in many, many ways.

haze said...

We have nothing against public school but we likewise opted for Private school for Basti and Mimi for security reason...you know how it is in Marseilles. I agree that public school teachers are often on strike (i'm aware they're fighting for something) but we are sending our kids to learn. That is one advantage of Private schools no strike. We are contented where they are now, even we are paying expensive fees but we don't mind as long as they are safe and living with healthy environment. Sometimes we complain we pay too much but when I see how my kids progress, giving the best education it's all worth it in the end, right ?

maria said...

I see, yun pala yun...

Salamat ha.

Anonymous said...

aaawww, how cute naman ni Louna! And yes I have to agree- love the hair! Kids are so resilient, aren't they? She adjusted quite beautifully on the first day.
One proud momma moment for you!

Heart of Rachel said...

It's wonderful to know that Louna's first day in pre-school went really well. I hope she will meet many wonderful friends in class and bond with them.

Analyse said...

Soy, oh, i just put ponytails as usual, nothing fancy.. but since her curly hair is a bit longer now, it certainly looks more chic. ;)

Haze, in fact i was quite surprised with the tuition fee. I thought it's more expensive than that.. but it costs nothing at all. Well, here, you know Dijon, it's a calm place lol, so public or private, the environment will be the same.. it's just more convenient for us to be in private.. have you heard, they're planning another greve this october!

Maria, no probs ;)

Greymom, oh yes. and second day was even better, no tears at all.. and she was happy to be back at school... and mind you, there were still a lot of kids screaming and crying, running after their parents.. naku, si louna, she took her chair and sat proudly.. proud maman, i am.

Rachel, i hope so too.. she's more inclined to play with boys tho coz she was the only girl at the nanny's place before.. but playing with girls will come.. esp with the coming of her petite soeur ;)

maria said...

Hello again! Andito na naman ako.

May nabanggit ka dati sa blog mo about PEE (Plan Epargne Entreprise). May itatanong sana ako kung pwede ulit. May natanggap kasi ako na letter tungkol dun sa PEE ng husband ko. Maliit lang naman sya, 5,000 euros. Sabi nila kailangan daw mag-antay ng 5 years bago makuha. Ganun ba talaga? Pwede daw makuha yun kung bibili ng bahay, manganganak, at kung may mamamatay. Totoo ba yun? Pag kinuha daw bago matapos ang 5 years eh may babayarang tax yata, hindi ako sigurado pero basta may babayaran daw. Anu-ano pa mangyayari kunwari kunin yun bago matapos ang 5 years? At ano ang mai-a-advice mo na magandang gawin, kunin or hindi? Yung letter na natanggap ko from HSBC, eh wala naman kaming account dun kasi sa Societe Generale kami. Sana matulungan mo ko sa bagay na ito. Pasensya na ulit kung sayo ako nagtanong kasi sa mga nabasa ko sa blog mo parang ang dami mo na talagang na-experience dito sa France. Atsaka para sakin mas maganda na yung magtanong sa pinay kasi mas madali kong maiintindihan, hehe. Kung may time ka lang ulit. Merci :)

lovelyn said...

School here will start on the the 15th, a bit late. We're still taking advantage of it as the "summer heat" strangely won't go yet.

First day among the first days of school will always be emotional for us parents. Its our first step of "letting them go". One of the many reminders that they have to grow.

Public schools here is no different from private ones. Just like you there, nuns run most of the latter and that's just the difference aside from the payment of course. One thing I love being here is - prep till high school is almost free. Only the school supplies are too expensive with which when converted into peso, would almost pay for a year tuition fee in the Philippines.

ann said...

Uy! May pre-schooler na sya. Nakaka excite talaga yan. Although si tin-tin ko 2 weeks yatang umiiyak noon..hehehe.

May mamahal pa kaya sa tuition dito na around P50,000/year pero parang public school lang din.

Analyse said...

Hi Maria, PEE is a shareholding option offered by companies to their employees which is most of the time invested in increase in capital, thus creating dividends for employees. In fact, it's the most interesting investment you could have here in France kasi aside sa mas mababa ang bili mo ng stocks compared sa prevailing market value (ours is at 80% of market value), kadalasan, the company tops up your contribution with a certain amount which they call abondement. In fact, when you opt for a PEE, you agree to the terms and conditions of the company, included na nga yang 5 years na naka-block ang pera mo sa kumpanya. Kasi naman di ba, malaki rin ang share ng company in some sort dun sa ininvest mo because of the discount in share value + abondement, e kung lahat ng employee, just after bili ng stocks e bili agad, baka biglang lumubog naman ang company. You could deblock it pag yun nga, me bagong baby, bibili ka ng bahay, pakakasal ka, mag-a-adopt ka, pag natanggal ka sa work.. one of the advantages of PEE is that, it's exempted sa revenu taxes and social charges.. i dont know the consequences pag kinuha mo sya ng mas maaga without valid reasons, i never did it kasi.. pero if you badly need some cash, better ask the bank, mas interesting magbayad ng 4% interest rate (well, i dont know the rate, example lang yan) kesa mawala mo yung advantages ng PEE, imagine, you need to pay revenu taxes (baka maya nasa 35% bareme pa kayo, mas mahal).

about sa bank naman, normal lang yun, the company mandates a certain bank to manage PEE of their employees, kami naman société générale yung sa PEE pero nasa caisse d'épargne kami..

pero better ask your husband kasi i answer the question based lang sa alam ko which is what's being practiced sa company namin.

ok lang yun, take advantage habang di pa ko nanganganak hehe..

Analyse said...

Lovelyn, here, even until college, almost free talaga ang education. I did my masteral degree here and the fee I paid is a lot cheaper than if i did it in pinas. and the thing is, it validated in some sort my philippine diploma which allowed my to work as an engineer here.

buti pa dyan, summer pa, dito, autumn na pero officially, summer season pa din, kainis.

Ann, ngek, public school yun? dito, if you say public.. kahit nga notebooks, di mo bibilhin e..

maria said...

salamat analyse. naliliwanagan na ko, hehe :)

julie said...

I am glad that Louna enjoyed her first day in preschool.

Re the tuition here, its true, really. For PhP50-70k in the big private schools, you pay for a private school education in an almost public school setup. Why? There's around 45-50 students per class. How will learning take place? Get a tutor after class for those who can still afford it.

Rhada said...

cute naman ng hair ni Louna!!! Ganda ganda!!!! Wow, the fees for private school there is not bad at all. Mas mahal pa ang daycare.

Lapit na din ang D-day mo ;-) Goodluck!!!!

chung said...

wow, how cute!! she's going to school now! ang bilis!! :)

i can't believe na cheaper pa ata ang pre-school jan kesa sa mga exclusive pre-schools sa pinas. i talked to my friend who has 4yr old and her tuition is 50K++ na daw! and you are absolutely right, hindi proportional ang sueldo!

Christianne said...

Ang mura naman ng private school sa France! Ganyan ba hanggang sa higher grades? We're thinking of sending Annika to an English school so that she'll adapt more easily if we decide to move back to Pinas (in public schools kasi, 4th grade pa sinisimulan ang English classes) but the annual fees are around 10k Euro.

That's the biggest injustice sa Pinas and other countries where labor is abundant and cheap... blue-collar workers and even some white-collar workers don't get the salaries and lives they deserve. Isang kahig, isang tuka talaga ang buhay.

Analyse said...

Julie, grabe naman yan, even public schools here limit their students to 26 yata.. sa klase ni louna, 16 lang sila, so the teacher really have time to follow each student.. not to mention na me katulong pa sya to take care of the kids when they go to the toilet or do outdoor games..

Rhada, actually mas tipid nga ako ngayon that she's in school.. mas mahal ang yaya e..

Chung, o di ba.. kakasakit ng loob magbayad sa pinas..

Christianne, hanggang college! grabe naman, 10K€! dito, yang fee na yan e for international schools offering masteral and PhDs na.. regulated lahat dito and kahit private, me govt subsidy pa din..

walang english school sa dijon e, so im checking some associations or groups offering english for kids.. so at least, louna will be exposed to the language na kaagad..

pinaymuminoz said...

its nice to know that doing some ratio and proportion as compare to income and tuition fee at private school with both parents working mura sya ...here in OZ we can't afford it esp. now that Rob can't do some overtime bec. of his situation. One of our neighbours grandkid is enrolled in one of the most "sikat" exclusive girl school here and they are paying 15,000ausd in a year tuition only ha...kaya isa lang anak nila para daw ma afford nila un... but the other private school here will range from 1200- 2000+ ausd per term (4 terms in a year) mahal din...

Analyse said...

Pinaymuminoz, it's regulated by the government and most of the private schools receive some financial aids from the govt, so it ends up to be affordable for all social class. In fact, they will also intensify learning english language in schools because most of the students who fare well in english are those who come from rich families who could afford paying a stay outside of france to learn it.. and the education minister himself calls it social injustice.. so to be fair, he will implement intensive training in schools. ain't that great that one of France's emblem is equality??