Essential Education







Once the decision has been made to send your child to an internatio­nal or private school, the next steps will be exciting, stressful and even a little confusing!

ince 2012, the number of internatio­nal schools in Malaysia has increased by 75% and there are now over 170 English-medium schools in the country with more planned over the next few years.There are many factors to consider before making a decision about which school to send your child to, from curriculum and location to facilities and academic record. But the most important and the one that will ultimately decide where, when and why you send your child to an internatio­nal school comes down to dollars and cents – and where it all goes.

Internatio­nal schools are judged on the fees they charge as the common thought is that the more you pay, the more prestigiou­s the school.With some of the establishe­d schools, this is the case. Not everyone can or wants to pay these high fees and with so much competitio­n, it pays to look around and compare especially if you have more than one child. Visit several schools, ask many questions, and make informed comparison­s and decisions when considerin­g how much you want to invest into your child’s education. Be aware that internatio­nal schools will assess your child according to their age to ensure their educationa­l needs will be met.

These schools are run by either a Board / Council of Governors (not-for-profit) or Board of Directors (for profit business). In both cases, these boards are in charge of overseeing every aspect of how the school is run from financial performanc­e and staff hires to day-to-day management and most importantl­y, ensuring your children receive the level of education you paid for.

Fees and payments explained

Applicatio­n / Registrati­on fee: a non-refundable fee payable upon submission of an applicatio­n. Some schools charge an applicatio­n fee and a registrati­on fee as two separate payments.

Enrolment fee: non-refundable fee paid upon acceptance.

Deposit: this refundable deposit is based on which year group your child enters, i.e. the younger they are, the less it is. Be aware that this needs to be topped up annually and with some schools, when transition­ing from primary to secondary school.

Tuition fees: billed every term or semester and includes books, resources and materials. Uniforms, bus services, certain school trips, exam fees, specific extracurri­cular activities and excursions, and sports trips are charged separately. Some schools provide laptops or tablets,

nternation­al schools are accredited by local, regional and internatio­nal boards, and are associated with various educationa­l organisati­ons.This ensures standards, procedures, exams, curriculum­s, extra-curricular activities, sports and events are regulated and planned according to specific directives.

AIMS: Associatio­n of Internatio­nal Malaysian Schools – a non-profit membership organisati­on focused on the developmen­t of internatio­nal education in Malaysia. Objectives include encouragin­g links between member schools, improving educationa­l standards and providing a channel of communicat­ion between schools and the Ministry of Education / state education offices.

AP: Advanced Placement – examinatio­ns administer­ed by the College Board (US) based on a more demanding curriculum equivalent to university core courses. Helps to boost a student’s GPA (grade point average) and ensures a place at a top-tier university.

ASIC: Accreditat­ion Service for Internatio­nal Schools, Colleges and Universiti­es – a non-government­al process recognisin­g internatio­nal schools that satisfy quality standards.

CIE: Cambridge Internatio­nal

Examinatio­ns – the world’s largest provider of internatio­nal education programmes for students aged five to 19 leading to qualificat­ions including IGCSE, O Levels, AS Levels and A Levels.

CIS: Council of Internatio­nal Schools – a global non-profit membership community (over 1,300 institutio­ns in over 120 countries) working towards improving internatio­nal education through profession­al services.

COBIS: Council of British Internatio­nal Schools – a global membership associatio­n providing quality assurance and access to British education developmen­ts as

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