Schools in Malaysia

Education in Malaysia is of a high standard. Expat parents will have a variety of options to choose from, with the schooling system broadly divided into public, private and international schools. Malay is the language of instruction for most subjects at public schools. Due to the language barrier and a number of bureaucratic obstacles, especially when it comes to student enrollment, most expats choose to send their children to a private or international school.

Public schools in Malaysia are in abundance and the tuition fees are low as most are supported by the government. Facilities in these schools are adequate and they have most of the basic items needed for education, but student-to-teacher ratios can be quite high.

To accommodate the high number of students, many public schools run on a two-session system, with one session in the morning and another in the afternoon.

There are a number of good private schools in Malaysia, but they tend to be expensive. Private schools use English as the main language of tuition, and as with public schools, most private schools follow the guidelines and rules set by the Malaysian Ministry of Education.

Most expat children settle into private schools quite easily as they are less likely to struggle with the culture shock that they may experience at a public school. The teachers are also usually well trained and have ample experience in communicating effectively and handling students from different cultures and backgrounds.

There is a broad range of private and international schools in Malaysia catering to the diverse population of expats that call the country home. These schools usually maintain the culture, primary teaching language, teaching methodologies and curriculum of their country of origin.

International schools mostly follow the American, British or Australian curriculum, with many schools also offering the International Baccalaureate programme.

Enrollment in these schools is expensive and may not be the best option for some expat budgets. Top schools may also have waiting lists, so it’s best to begin the enrolment process as early as possible.

The location of a school is also a vital factor to consider, as traffic in Malaysian cities, especially in Kuala Lumpur, can lengthen the commute time considerably. Most private and international schools will have a bus service available to students, depending on where they live.