Spike in enrolment at international schools: Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - Many international schools are seeing a growth in admission of local students while the numbers are decreasing in private schools.

Some of the private schools said the recent switch in policy to teach Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia had contributed to their dwindling enrolment numbers.

All private schools adopt the national school curriculum and are mandated to follow the local education policy, while international schools follow the British and American curriculum, among others.

Loke Poi Ching, admission manager at Tenby International School and Sekolah Sri Tenby in Setia Eco Park, Shah Alam, said enrolment had been "sluggish" compared with previous years for its private school, while the international school had received overwhelming response.

"Enrolment for Years One and Two at Sekolah Sri Tenby has been slow. We are conducting the classes as directed by the Education Ministry.

"However, from Year Three onwards, the enrolment is good as we continue to teach Mathematics and Science in English since that option has been given to us until 2016."

Some parents of children in Year Three onwards, said Loke, had indicated earlier their intention to move their children to international schools, but were now willing to stay on since the school would continue using English as the medium of instruction for both the subjects.

She said enrolment at the Tenby International School had increased tremendously, especially over the last two years.

"Since 2009, the school has had a long waiting list for enrolment. This year, we are trying to accommodate all the students by opening more classes from Year One to Year Nine."

The Tenby International School has about 1,000 students while Sekolah Sri Tenby has 500 students.

REAL Schools Cahaya Campus in Shah Alam, which operates private and international schools, also said their international school was seeing a higher enrolment at both primary and secondary levels.

School administrator Pewither Kaur@Soonne said classes were full for all levels and there was a long waiting list for enrolment.

"The annual fees for admission in the private school is between RM12,000 (S$4,900) and RM20,000 (S$8,200).

"For the international school, it is about RM25,000 to RM35,000 per year."

Chandra Devi Renganayar