In 2012, the Malaysian government removed a limit on the number of Malaysian citizens who could enrol at international schools, thereby paving the way for a substantial increase in the number of local students attending the international schools across the country.
This change in policy, as well as other government changes (including the requirement for Malaysian public schools to deliver all subjects in Bahasa Malaysia), has resulted in a major change in the shape of the international schools market in Malaysia. Since 2009, the total number of students attending the international schools has increased by 80%; the majority of which are local Malaysian children.
This resulted in many homeschool learning centers mushrooming everywhere offering the IGCSE syllabus to families who could not afford mainstream international schools.
Informed and prudent parents who choose these learning centers for their child’s education should ensure that the center is governed by designated regulatory bodies and should ask the following questions:-
- Whether they have a Ministry of Education (MOE) operating license with a school identity code from Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri Selangor (JPNS).
- Tuition licence issued by Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri Selangor (JPNS) is not a valid licence for running a homeschool learning center and will not get approval from MOE as a mainstream school.
- Whether they have full accreditation from international examination boards such as Cambridge International Exams (CIE) or Edexcel.
- Whether they have an edu.my website address because this is issued by MOE.
- Whether classrooms are structured for one year level or multiple year levels because it is difficult for teachers to teach a class effectively with different year levels in it.
- Whether there are properly qualified teachers teaching in a classroom setting or mere facilitators who may not be subject qualified, facilitating students to study on self-study capacities.
- 5 years is the recommended time to successfully complete the IGCSE curriculum at secondary level (https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum) but many centers promise short cuts of 3 to 4 years to complete. This results in students who are underprepared, over stressed and not able to do their IGCSE exams well.
- Many centers are operating like tuition centers where no security measures are taken for the safety of their students coming in and out of their centers.