"I'd like to find out more on the secondary school application process. Is it possible for you to blog about it? I'd like to know more about the school selection process."
I shall try to post this in a FAQ format.
Q: When does the application for secondary schools start? Is it in Standard 5 or Standard 6?
A: Application for secondary school starts in Standard 6. Sometime during the year before your child sits for the UPSR exams, he/she will be given two forms to complete. One of the forms lists down the feeder school for your child's primary school. These are schools that will accept students from your child's primary school. You are to list down your top 3 choices and return the form to the class teacher. Another form is for a list of feeder cluster schools. You only fill this form if you are interested to apply for the listed cluster schools on the form. For cluster schools, you may have to submit your child's UPSR results once they are out. Please note that wef 2016 there will be changes to the UPSR paper in terms of format and weightage. At this point of writing all that is known is that the weightage may be 60% with 40% being school based assessments carried out throughout the year annually.
Q: Is the application fully done online just like primary schools?
A: No, the application is manual as described above. In fact, online application for primary school is in Selangor but not in Wilayah Persekutuan and the majority of other states in Malaysia.
Q: Does the PPD place students in certain schools based on their academic results and extra-curricular activities? So does this mean that proximity to parents' school of choice for their offspring is no longer applicable, right?
A: The PPD or Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah places students in certain schools based on academic results and extra-curricular activities only for certain controlled schools. Academic results and active participation in extra-curricular activities is not a requirement for feeder schools ie schools that are within the proximity of the current primary school.
Q: Are there any tips you can give parents on the do's and don'ts of getting their kids to a good Government school?
A: If you are thinking of going to a controlled school, then you must meet the minimum academic achievement requirement for the school. If you are have a school in your mind that is not in the list of feeder school, then you may need to wait for your child to be allocated to a feeder school first. After that you have to go to the allocated school to obtain transfer forms to do a transfer to a school of your choice. If your transfer is inter-state for example from Wilayah Persekutuan to Selangor, you may have to go to the state JPN (Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri) as well to have your transfer forms processed.
I will write about transfer of schools in another post.
Note: I am writing as a parent with the hindsight of having my child gone through the process. The information above may change from time to time or be different for different schools and states so it may not be 100% accurate. If you wish to find out more, you can contact your child's school or the PPD/JPN/MOE. This link from MOE shows you the list of JPN. If you visit the individual JPN links, you can find the contact for the PPD for your district.
MOE= Ministry of Education (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia)
JPN= Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri (State Education Department)
PPD= Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah (District Education Office)