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Type of Schools in Malaysia

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Types of school in Malaysia

Over the past few decades, Malaysia has become a major destination for international education. In 2014, there were nearly 100,00 international students pursuing higher higher education in Malaysia and by 2022 that number had doubled.

This comes as no surprise considering Malaysia's diverse culture, primarily English-speaking residents, low school fees, and affordable cost of living. Another huge plus is Malaysia's location in the heart of Southeast Asia, making quick getaways to nearby countries like Singapore, Thailand , and Indonesia easy and convenient. 

If you are wondering about the types of schools Malaysia has to offer to local students and international students, here is a breakdown. 

How many types of schools are there in Malaysia?

Generally, there are four main types of schools for early childhood programs in Malaysia, and four other types of school for primary education to pre-university education. 

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Types of school in Malaysia

Early Childhood
    1.    Government MOE kindergartens
          The Ministry of Education (MOE) establishes kindergarten to ensure low-income families in suburban, rural, and              remote areas do not have to neglect their children's education. These preschools follow the national curriculum. 

    2.    Private sector kindergartens
           Private preschools supplement the government's efforts to provide high-quality education to students ages 4 to            6. The curriculum at private preschools emphasises the development of communication and social skills to                       prepare students for primary education.
           An example is Invictus International School Malaysia's Early Years program. which uses the globally recognised               Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework to help students to meet developmental milestones in a                           conducive environment. 

     3.   Preschools for children with Special Needs
           Preschool education for children with special needs is overseen by MOE. In 2003, the MOE authorised the                           conversion of early intervention programs at 28 special schools to preschool programs for children with special               needs. Learn more about it here.

    4. PERPADUAN preschools
           The purpose of PERPADUAN preschools is to instil the value of unity in young children so that they will be able to               coexist peacefully in a multiracial community. Each class has a Preschool Coordinating comprising members                   who provide guidance on the running of the school and organise events for parents. 

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Students in a Primary school classroom

Primary to Pre-University

    1.    Government schools, or national schools
          Government schools adhere to the Malaysian national curriculum and examinations. In these schools, Bahasa              Melayu is the primary language of instruction. Student in lower secondary take a minimum of eight subjects with           compulsory subjects including Bahasa Melayu, English, Science, History, Geography, and Mathematics.

    2.   Ethnic schools
          Primary Schools    : Malaysian has Chinese schools and Tamil schools where lessons are taught in those                              respective languages. Before beginning secondary school, students from these primary schools complete a                  bridging year comprising rigorous language studies to prepare students for continuing their education in Bahasa           Melayu.

          Secondary schools    :Chinese secondary education is available for students who attended Chinese primary                      schools. The lessons, which are taught in Mandarin, follow the national curriculum. Students in these schools take           the United Examination Certificate (UEC), which can be used for applying to private universities. However, if a                  student is seeking admission to public universities, they would have to take the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, which is              a certification administered in Bahasa Melayu. 

 3.    Foreign system schools

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Invictus International School Malaysia - primary and secondary schools

           Foreign system schools are fully independent institutions that often have superior infrastructure and pride                       themselves on being student-centered. There are many foreign system schools in Malaysia, and these can be               categorised into expatriate schools and international schools. 
           While and expatriate school adheres to the education system of a specific nation and utilises the respective                   national language in the lessons conducted, an international school usually follow international curricula and                   conducts its lesson in English. For example, Invictus International School Malaysia uses the Cambridge                               international curriculum and prepares students for Cambridge international examinations such as the IGCSE                   and A-Levels. 

 4.    Private School

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High school students in a science laboratory

             Private schools in Malaysia are semi-government controlled and typically follow the Malaysian national                             curriculum and examinations. Private schools usually have better facilities than government schools, which                     provides students with a higher-quality academic experience. They also have smaller class sizes, which allows                 teachers to pay academic experience. They also have smaller class sizes, which allows teachers to pay more                 individualised attention to each student. 

How many international schools are there in Johor Bahru?

At present, there are 23 international schools in Johor Bahru. Invictus International School Malaysia will be adding to this number in January 2023. Besides Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Johor Bahru has more international schools than any other area in Malaysia. 

How much does it cost to study at an international school?

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Tuition fees differ vastly across the international school options.

International school tuition fees in Malaysia vary greatly, and these fees generally increase as a child progresses  through the different grade levels. The average annual fee for preschool at a Malaysian international school is RM16,000 (about USD3,500) while the average annual fee at the high school level is RM24,000 (about USD5,200).

Where can I study for the A-Levels in Johor Bahru?

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Invictus International School Malaysia prepares students for the A-Levels

 Invictus International School Malaysia is located in Johor Bahru and offers an intensive secondary school curriculum that prepares students to take the A-Levels.

What are the main differences between a private school and an international school?

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An international school usually has a more global focus than a private school

 1.    Curriculum
          Private schools in Malaysia follow the Malaysian national curriculum. International schools, on the other hand,                  usually adhere to curricula from other countries. The international schools in Malaysia most commonly use                      American, Australian, British, and Canadian curricula.

    2.    Content focus
           The content covered in a Malaysian private school usually has a local focus, while the content covered in a                       Malaysian international school has a more global focus. Both of these methods have their advantages. The                       locally-focused private schools teach students more about the country they're living in, whereas the global                       emphasis a international schools gives students the opportunity to dive into diverse topics from a wide variety               of perspective. 

    3.    Facilities    
           Private schools have decent facilities, but international schools enjoy larger budgets that ensure their facilities               are state-of-the-art for students' use. These facilities may include chemistry and biology labs, computer labs,               extensive library collections, and well-maintained multipurpose halls for sports and arts. As a result, students                   are able to participate in more enriching extracurricular activities that contribute to their overall development. 

Learn more about Invictus International School Malaysia

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Invictus International School Malaysia - primary and secondary levels

Invictus International School Malaysia is an institution of academic excellence that will carry your child from their early years all the way up to the A-Levels. Contact us today to learn more and start your child's journey of joyous lifelong learning.