Learning & Growing, Abroad
There are a large number of local pre-schools, primary and secondary schools throughout the country but the local curricula is predominantly taught in Bahasa Malaysia (the national language of Malaysia), Chinese or Tamil. Education at local schools is cheap, but language could be a barrier for many children from abroad. In view of this situation, a considerable number of established International schools that cater to the expatriate community have been established in Malaysia, more so over the past 15 years.
International Schools come with a cost, although one should also take into consideration the higher standard of education as well as facilities provided. Potential students and their parents are therefore advised to weigh the curriculum offered against the fees and commuting distance, before selecting a school to apply to. Parents considering International Schools need to understand the varying nature of these academic institutions, in order to make the best possible decision for their children.
Diversity is one of the key factors that prompt parents to enrol their children in International Schools. Accompanied by a choice of British, Japanese, Indonesian, American, Australian, French and numerous other foreign curricula, International Schools are located throughout the country and depending on where you are located, all you need to do is choose.
To meet the requirements of foreigners, International Schools tend to base their curriculum on the educational system of the country representing its predominant group of parents. Almost all International Schools adhere to four main criteria: They have a curriculum that differs from the host country, and serve the educational needs of foreigners living in the host country. They also have an international student population and a modified curriculum to optimize the benefits of studying in an international environment.
International Schools in the Greater Klang Valley include the Australian International School, Garden International School, Alice Smith School, ELC International School, Fairview International School, International Islamic School, International School of Kuala Lumpur, Mont Kiara International School , Maz International School and German School of KL.
Prominent International Schools in Penang include Dalat International School and the International School of Penang. In Negri Sembilan, Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar is widely regarded as the elite school, what with its British-based syllabus and excellent boarding facilities.
Most states in Malaysia have at least one International School, amongst which include the International School of Ipoh (Perak), Garden International School in Kuantan (Pahang), Kinabalu International School in Sabah, Lodge International School in Sarawak, Melaka International School and the Singapore-based Indian International School.
There is usually a non-refundable registration fee and an annual re-enrolment fee to factor in as well, in addition to tuition fees. In most schools, the fees increase in tandem with the grade level of studies undertaken.
All schools provide dining facilities for breakfasts and lunches for their students. These can range from vendors such as Starbucks and local hawker food, to the school offering its own in-house menus, through cafeterias.
If budget features highly in your list of key determinants in selecting a school, you will be pleased to know that most schools do offer special pricing promotions for siblings. International Schools offering educational excellence in Malaysia are affordable, where expatriates may also rest assured that their children are getting the best of quality education, on par with their global counterparts.
“With Malaysia being `home-away-from-home’ to a growing number of expatriates from all over the world, International Schools have mushroomed to bring quality education, supervision and support for children.”