There is perhaps no time more important for a child than their time spent in education, the choice of schools in which to send your child can often seem like an intimidating task. The following information aims to help alleviate some of that stress by providing information that every parent should have when deciding on the type of education for their child.
Why Choose an International School
There is a plethora of reasons that an international Malaysian school is the right decision for your child, an advantage of going international is the variety of curriculum on offer. International schools in Malaysia offer curriculum based on Australian, British, American or Canadian school systems. This can is offered from age 3 to graduation, allowing the child’s entire education to be completed in the same fashion. Along with these different curriculum many of the international schools in Malaysia offer the International Baccalaureate option which is becoming a popular choice in Europe. The schooling offered at these international schools is widely excepted by universities around the world.
The predominant language used is English, although other languages are also taught. English language programs are also offered for non native English speakers. International schools offer a wide array of classes that may not be available at public schools, such as performing arts, music, literature and others.
The quality of teaching at these schools is kept to a high standard, with teachers being trained to deliver on curriculum promises. Many of the teachers employed are from other countries, providing a culturally diverse learning environment for children. This coupled with lower teacher to student ratio provides for an excellent opportunity for any child.
International schools in Malaysia are valued not just for their curriculum but also for there location, the country of Malaysia is full of attractions. The field trip and excursion opportunities are endless, the warm climate offers opportunities for numerous outdoor activities and learning experiences through hands on teaching from the seaside’s to the rainforests to the highlands. Malaysia is a multi cultural country where students will be immersed in a variety of languages, cultures and traditions promoting the philosophy of building the global citizen. The Malaysian government takes an active role in ensuring quality of the educational system, making sure they are at a global standard. All these benefits coupled with a low cost of living make Malaysia a very attractive option for international schooling.
Opportunities for Parents and Students
If considering enrolling your child in an international school there are options for parents who wish to reside in the country under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program. Along with this children will be able to study full time in the country without having to apply for a student visa.
The MM2H program comes with many benefits for parents wishing to be close to their children while they attend international schools. Under the program parents will have the ability to have 100% ownership of their business as well as the ability to work a maximum amount of 20 hours a week if over the age of 50. This program allows for parents to invest in not only businesses but stock markets and funds. Tax-free Car incentives are available and are also eligible for both housing and car loans.
Not only will students be gaining a valuable education by choosing an international school they will grow into a more independent and experienced person. International schools will help children grow into more well rounded individuals, they will develop increased self-confidence, belief, maturity and gain important perspective of different cultures. International schools stand by their mantra “ELC”, Excellence, Loyalty and Commitment.
What to look for
Finding a job can be a tough task in such a competitive market place, which makes it essential to have a world class education. International schools provide the opportunity to excel through a huge range of academic subjects and many extra curricular activities.
Malaysia currently has 90 international schools with a further 25 in production, all educating more than 38, 000 students. This can make the decision to choose a skill daunting and challenging, however it is a decision that should not be rushed or taken lightly.
A straightforward indication of a schools quality can be established through its ownership and history. When looking at ownership it is important to ascertain whether the school is a branch of a foreign school, which has been setup by academics living abroad, or the result of an acquisition of a franchise by a local. If it is owned locally parents must find out whether the operator is properly trained in the running of the schools system. It is very important for the local to run the school as effectively as the representatives of the original academy.
The schools license must also be observed along with whether or not the school has been licensed by international school bodies. This is important for when the child is applying to colleges in the future as they will want an accredited school.
Teacher Quality and Exam Success
Parents should take into account the schools exam success rate, this can be found in international papers which can be acquired through the school. This could not only indicate the teaching quality of the school but give some perspective into the syllabuses effectiveness. Most schools have a teacher to student ratio of 15-25, this can vary so it is important to find out this information before committing to a school. Along with this parents must find out what kind of teaching qualifications the school requires.
A benefit of an international school is some of the options available to students, many schools offer classes that are not available at public schools such as art, music, literature, languages and many others. It is important to know the needs to your child before selecting a curriculum, Australian, American, Canadian and the IB program focus more on Coursework while the IGCSE focuses mainly on exams.
Malaysian schools must be accredited and registered by the government, teachers must be approved and registered in order to work at international schools. It is the law that teachers must gain a permit to teach, this is a very tough process that ensures only quality teaches are approved. In some cases schools will even import teachers to make sure that the curriculum is taught effectively.
Facilities, Equipment and Environment
It is important for parents to make sure that the school they are selecting are well equipped, they should have a fully equipped library, computer room, auditorium, gymnasium, sports fields and pool. All of these facilities will aide in the development of your child along with helping in find new skills and activities. It is essential that schools have wireless internet capabilities, this will help in fostering knowledge for the digital age and can be used for in classroom learning.
If only the child will be attending the school parents must look into the boarding facilities. These boarding houses allow for easy access to the schools and are supervised by house masters who help in developing a sense of family among the students. Boarding houses are an important place to teach students independence, responsibility and discipline.
Location and Cost
The location of a school should also be considered, most schools are placed in accessible areas however the proximity to residential areas and other infrastructure should be taken into account.
The affordability factor is a huge benefit of choosing schools in Malaysia, fees range from around RM20,000 to RM40,000 per year. This is very competitive compared to countries like Singapore, Thailand, and Australia.
Choosing a new school for your child is an extremely difficult task but undertaking the necessary research and taking the time to observe these various institutions is vital in choosing a great school.
Private School Setup
To setup a private school one must submit an application to the Division of Private Education of the Ministry of Education. The establishment must abide by the Education act 1996m Regulations of Education and Related circular issues.
The following steps bust ne undertaken: detail the institution, details of applicants, details of management and administration, details of the institution curriculum/courses/training programs and Details of the physical structure of the institution.
After the submission of this documentation the applicant will be required to do a presentation to Jawatankuasa Penubuhan.