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Tuesday, January 23, 2018



Secondary School Options For SJKC Students


After SJKC what next? 

Many parents send their kids to SJKC because they want them to learn at least 6 years of Mandarin but after that what next?

Here are some secondary school options for SJKC students. There's more but let's talk about the most common ones.

  1. SEKOLAH MENENGAH KEBANGSAAN (SMK)
  2. SEKOLAH MENENGAH JENIS KEBANGSAAN (SMJK)
  3. CHINESE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL (CIS)
  4. PRIVATE/INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
  5. ALTERNATIVE LEARNING CENTRE
  6. HOMESCHOOL
1. SEKOLAH MENENGAH KEBANGSAAN (SMK)

A student can advance to a SMK either a normal public school or a cluster school. However, with elite classes being phased off, who knows, cluster school may be next to go. There are certain entrance requirements for cluster school and different application procedure whereas for normal SMK, you can advance to a feeder school for your SJKC. (You will be given a form to state your choice of feeder school).

For normal SMK, you can choose one which runs a DLP programme if you wish to study Maths and Science in English. However, do note that in some schools, the DLP programme is not school wide but rather for a few select classes only and they are quite likely to be filled up by the students who had been taking the DLP in the SK feeder school they came from.

So, if SMK is your choice and just in case you can't get into a DLP programme, you will need to make sure that your BM is not neglected during the SJKC schooling years so that there is a smooth transition to secondary school with no trouble catching up when subjects switch from fully Chinese to fully BM.

Related Article: Tips For Choosing A Secondary School In Malaysia
                        : Secondary School Application Process For SMK

2, SEKOLAH MENENGAH JENIS KEBANGSAAN (SMJK)

Before you proceed, do read our earlier post on Information on SMJK in Malaysia and also this one on What parents need to know about DLP.

None of the SJKCs in Malaysia are running the DLP programme because the SJKC is against the DLP programme. However, if you want your child to do Math and Science in English under the DLP programme in secondary school, you can consider SMJK as an option because with effect 2017, all 76 SMJK received the green light to run the DLP programme. (you will need to check with the SMJK you are considering to confirm whether they are actually running the programme school wide or for specific classes)

This means your child can switch from doing Math and Science in Chinese to doing Math and Science in English instead of Math and Science in BM.

If you are planning this route, make sure that you do not neglect their English and BM because all other subjects will still be in BM same as in SMK. Another thing to take note of is the fact that some SMJK may require students to sit for Mandarin as a compulsory subject in SPM. Some SMJK are cluster schools and therefore have certain entry requirements as well.

3. CHINESE INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS (CIS)

Before you proceed, read this Malay Mail news on What You Should Know About Chinese Schools In Malaysia. It talks about SJKC, SMJK and CIS and will give you a good understanding of how the total system works.

The CIS are actually private Chinese secondary schools. The fees are not as high as normal private schools. Students in CIS sit for the UEC (Unified Examination Certificate) and SPM.  Interestingly, a couple of CIS currently in Penang and Ipoh also offers UEC and IGCSE as an added option for students. 

If this is your choice, you must make sure you are good not only in Chinese but in English and BM too for secondary school because lessons are in all these languages.

4. PRIVATE OR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS

You may opt to go to a private school doing the national syllabus or to and international school with international curriculum such as the IGCSE, IB, American curriculum and more. Since these schools are privately run, you will probably need to do a survey to find one that fits your budget and your plan for future tertiary studies. You may be interested to know what are the 10 Most Expensive International Schools in the Klang Valley.

Some International schools start their academic year in September. You will find many students who opt for International schools jumping ship (from SJKC to International school) in September during their P5 or P6 years. If switching in P5, then you skip the UPSR and it is possible to advance straight to secondary school equivalent level. If switching in P6, you will sit for UPSR (which is held usually in September) and immediately after that start school in International school with no break in between.

Those who are going to private school doing national syllabus will not have to do the switch in September but in January since the term dates are the same as those in public schools.

If you are planning this route, make sure that you are prepared not only in English but also in the different style and approach used as compared to SJKC to ensure a smooth transition.  Make sure you research all the curriculum carefully and decide on the one which is the best pathway to your higher education.

5. ALTERNATIVE LEARNING CENTERS

Alternative learning center is sometimes called a homeschool center which may be a little bit confusing. Some centers conduct the national syllabus while others prepare students for IGCSE and other examinations. They are like private schools but cheaper with little or no facilities. For sports and recreation, students may sometimes use public fields near the center. Classes are usually small unlike SMK. Here's what to expect from a homeschooling center.

6. HOMESCHOOLING

There is quite a vibrant homeschooling community. If you choose to do homeschooling, it would be good for you to network with other homeschoolers through Facebook groups etc. You can also read blogs and do lots of research online. Here are some Homeschooling Malaysia Parents Blogs to read.

Whatever your choice may be, you need to think and plan ahead. Before deciding on your secondary school choice, think of where you will send your child for further education, then work backwards. 

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