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Public Schools No Longer Appealing to Parents

According to the annual Education First English Proficiency Index, Malaysia’s English proficiency score of 58.55 is now ranked third place among Asian countries behind Singapore, and the Philippines.

by K. Vatsala Devi
public schools no longer desirable

Parents often play a significant role in every aspect of their young children’s lives, from potty training to the time they reach the age of independence. When their children start attending schools, most parents breathe a sigh of relief as they know that a qualified teacher will ensure their child receives the education they require.

However, a parent’s role in education entails more than simply ensuring that their children attend centers of education. Positive parental involvement in education leads to greater student success and confidence, regardless of class, ethnicity, or parents’ level of education, according to research.

It is undeniable that parents who are active supporters of their children’s learning provide their children with the best opportunity for educational success. Receiving a proper education is one of the most valuable gifts parents can give their children today, more than ever.

Demand of International Schools in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia

The Malaysia government lifted a cap on the number of Malaysian citizens who could enroll in international institution of education in 2012, making room for a growing amount of local children enrolled in international schools across the country.

This policy shift, along with another government change in the requirement for Malaysian public institutions to teach all subjects in Bahasa Malaysia, has resulted in a significant shift in the shape of Malaysia’s international school market. Since 2009, the total number of students enrolled in international schools has increased by 80%, with the majority of them being Malaysian children.

There are presently over 7000 international institution of education around the world serving the needs of approximately 3.5 million students. This trend is also visible in Malaysia, where the number of international institutions students has more than doubled in the last six years, rising from 45,000 in 2014 to over 90,000 by 2020. There were 60+ international schools in 2010, 120+ in 2017, and over 180+ in 2020, more than tripling the number from a decade ago.

An estimated 80% of students attending the world’s English-medium international schools today are the children of local families who believe that sending their children to an international institution of education , many of which offer globally recognized curricula and examinations, will provide them with the best opportunities for university and higher education.

Parents’ unique reasons on choosing international education

Choosing where to send a child to receive his/her education is one of the most important decisions a parent must make. The right international center can facilitate the transition of relocating their child to a new country, city and life as smoothly as possible, as well as provide their child with the right curriculum and the educators to deliver it. Whether it is a publicly-funded or international school, the stakes are extremely high when considering the institution.

Parents turn to international schools for a wide array of reasons. One of the first things that parents look for is what the schools have to offer in terms of teaching styles and extracurricular activities. International schools in Malaysia follow the International Baccalaureate Curriculum patterns.

What’s more, according to statistical data, 91 percent of parents considered extracurricular activities when selecting a school. These vary greatly between schools and can include anything from swimming to arts, crafts and much more. Clearly, parents place a high value on extending the school day and involving their children thoroughly in school life.

public schools versus private and international schools
Nuha Ghouse, Founder & CEO of Tutopiya

All these parents appear to understand the benefits of learning multiple languages. 39 percent of parents thought it was “extremely valuable” for an international school to offer additional language classes. Using this example, if a child is studying the British curriculum in English, additional language classes could be French, German, or any other language offered by the school.

Another main reason why parents choose international institution of education in Malaysia is because they use English as their main language during classes. While English is spoken and comprehended by some in the country, it’s still not quite as widespread. According to the annual Education First English Proficiency Index, Malaysia’s English proficiency score of 58.55 is now ranked third place among Asian countries behind Singapore (66.82), and the Philippines (60.14).

Hence, Malaysian nationals often find themselves struggling when they go abroad in search of employment, or in the hope of furthering their education. For that reason, at Tutopiya, we believe that the English language is a part of the global world. Which is why we established an online tutoring platform that allows kids to connect with a tutor and learn via the internet to help address this issue.

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