More and more parents in Malaysia are seriously considering Private or International Schools as an option for schooling their kids. However, before you even consider this option, you must do some research.
Questions You Must Ask Yourself And The Private Or International Schools
- What is the difference between a private and international school - Besides the cost, there may be other differences for example you may have a private school doing the Malaysian syllabus (SPM) or a private school doing an international syllabus
- Are there any entry requirements - Newer schools may not have it because they may want to raise their intake. Some other schools may have entry examinations so you need to find out when these are and what are the requirements and when (before the semester starts or anytime of the year)
- What syllabus do the schools offer - Local or International. If international, what syllabus?
- When does the new intake begin - For example international syllabus schools may have their intakes in Sept whereas private schools doing a local syllabus may have intakes in January.
- Are there any hidden costs - Besides the annual school fees, what about book fees, extra curricular fees etc
- How may teachers do they have - Where are the teachers from. Local or international. You may want to know whether the teachers stay or whether there is a high movement in and out
- Is transport provided or can it be arranged easily - especially if the school is far from your home
There are many other questions you should ask but these are a few basic and important ones that you need to know to do some planning. Some parents may opt to go to private or international schools starting from primary school, in which case you then need to ask about preschools and whether there is auto transfer from preschool to the private school so you won't need to sit for entrance examinations. Some parents plan for their kids to attend SJKC or SK for 5 years and then switch to Year 7 (equivalent to Form 1) in September or January (depending on whether you choose a local or international syllabus) skipping the UPSR altogether. Some prefer their kids to do 6 years in SJKC, then go straight to Year 8 (equivalent to Form 2).
So you see, there are many things to consider and research is very important. Visiting a private and international school fair is the best way to find out some of these things easily and quickly to facilitate your planning. You can then do a comparison on the schools, cost, distance, syllabus and more.
For your information, there is going to be a 6th Private and International School Fair on 7 - 8 November 2015 at Mid Valley Exhibition Centre from 11 am to 6 pm. You can check out the details on our main website. If you are planning to go to the fair, here are some tips to make the most of your visit.
- Go early first thing in the morning before the crowd comes in (these fairs can be really crowded) or register before hand if you can. At the start of the day, the exhibitors are more relaxed and you may get your chance to ask your 101 questions and get answers from them more readily.
- Head straight for the layout map, mark and go straight to the exhibitors (schools) you wish to find out more about. Don't be distracted along the way. For others, collect whatever brochures they have to offer. You can go home and have a look and compare them later
- If you are going with young kids, make sure you hold onto their hands (make sure you are holding the right hand!). Kids may wonder and get lost in the crowd
- Find out if there is going to be a talk. (Usually talks are given and some of them provide a lot of useful information for your research) If there is one that you would like to attend, you may have to go during that time instead to avoid having to hang around for a long time or missing the talk
- Go prepared with your questions so you ask the right questions and get the best answers. You don't want to go home and say "I should have asked that question when I got the chance" Of course you can take a name card and call up again later but it is not the same as face to face conversation
- Do not be afraid to ask questions - Even if you think your questions are trivial, do not be afraid to ask them. That is what the exhibitors are for and they will be more than ready to answer any questions you have.