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Tuesday, August 16, 2016



When To Switch Your Child From SJKC To International School

In the past, things were a lot simpler. Everyone sent their kids to SK and some to SJKC/T and that was it. The educational path was quite clear cut then.

Now, not only do we have to think very hard on whether to send our children to SK or SJKC/T, we also have private schools offering national syllabus, international schools, homeschooling centres plus we can opt to homeschool ourselves too. We now have more options as well as more headache.

In secondary school our options are SMK, SMJK, CIS, private or international schools, homeschooling centres or real homeschool ourselves.

Many parents plan their children's educational path well in advance because if you were intending to send to international school for example, you need to make sure they are not lacking in their English proficiency. If you plan to send to SK, then you must make sure you prepare them ahead by making sure they have a good foundation in Bahasa Malaysia.

This post is for those who are considering switching from SJKC to International Schools. When is a good time to switch? * This post is referring to switching from SJKC to International Schools with semesters beginning in the month of September. It does not refer to switching from SJKC to Private Schools doing the local/national syllabus as the start of semester is in January which is the same as that for public schools. It also does not touch on the different syllabus being offered by International schools like IGCSE, GCSE, IB Diploma etc. Only the timing for the switch is discussed.

The first thing you should ask yourself is what is the reason you put your child in SJKC in the first place? To learn Chinese? For the discipline? Whatever your reason may be, a tryout period of at least 3 years will give you and your child a chance to see if you should go all the way to Std 6 in SJKC.

Switching in Std 4

Let's say your child is not doing well in SJKC, when do you pull him/her out? There is no right or wrong, but in order for your child to be given enough time to try his best, I would say he should be allowed to complete his lower primary in SJKC first. If you find that he is still struggling and if ultimately you have intention to send him to international school anyway, then Std 4 may be the first year to consider switching.

Switching in Std 5

There are some parents who switch in Std 5. This is what happens when you switch in Std 5. The switch usually takes place in September which is the start of the school semester for international schools. The std 5 child may jump straight to Year 7 in September which is the equivalent to Form 1 in national schools. He will bypass the need to sit for the primary school assessment exams which is the UPSR. Whether he may be able to go straight to Year 7 depends on his age at the time of entry or his performance while sitting for an entrance examination if any.

Switching in Std 6

The child may sit for UPSR in Std 6 in the month of September. Implications of switching in Std 6; immediately after the UPSR, he/she starts school in September in International school with no rest in between. He may go straight to Year 8 which is equivalent to Form 2. Whether he may be able to do so depends on his age at the time of entry or his performance while sitting for an entrance examination if any.

If you are planning to switch to International School then you should make sure that your child's English is up to par. You should also involve your child in the decision making on whether to switch so that he or she is well prepared. Your support is crucial to make sure your child makes a successful switch academically, mentally and emotionally.

SK= Sekolah Kebangsaan
SJKC = Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina
SJKT = Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil
SMK = Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan
SMJK = Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan
CIS = Chinese Independent School (Chinese private schools)
IGCSE = International General Certificate of Secondary Education
GCSE = British National Curriculums
IB Diploma = International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
UPSR = Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah

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