What are schools like in Malaysia?
Schools in Malaysia vary widely in terms of facilities, curriculum, and teaching methods. Public schools are the most common, providing education to the majority of students. These schools typically have adequate facilities, but the quality can vary from one school to another. Private schools in Malaysia, on the other hand, offer alternative options with often better resources and smaller class sizes, but they come at a higher cost. International Malaysian schools cater to expatriate and affluent local families, offering globally recognised curricula such as the International Baccalaureate
and Cambridge curriculum
How long is a Malaysian school day?
In Malaysia, the duration of a school day can vary depending on the level of education and the specific school. However, a typical Malaysian school day for primary and secondary students usually starts in the early morning and ends in the early afternoon.
At primary schools in Malaysia, the school day often starts between 7:30am and 8am and concludes around 1pm or 2pm. Secondary schools may have slightly longer hours, with classes starting between 7am and 7.30am and ending in the mid to late afternoon, typically between 1.30pm and 3.30pm. It’s important to note that some schools may have variations in their day, and extracurricular activities or additional classes may extend the school day for some students. Some public schools in Malaysia run for shorter hours, allowing for two shifts to combat overcrowding.
Exams In Malaysia schools:
Examinations are an important part of Malaysia’s school education system, serving as a crucial benchmark for students’ academic progress. The Malaysian education system places a strong emphasis on standardised tests and assessments. At secondary level in Malaysia schools, the Malaysia Certificate of Education (SPM) exam is a pivotal moment for students and is typically taken at the end of their 11 years of compulsory education. The SPM is a comprehensive exam covering various subjects and plays a crucial role in determining a student's academic and career path. Additionally, students may also sit for the Malaysian Higher School Certificate (STPM) or other specialised exams depending on their chosen educational track. This of course differs in international schools in Malaysia, and while the exams are different depending on the curriculum studied, the importance placed on them is still just as high.
How does the Malaysian school year work?
The Malaysian school year typically follows a two-term system. The academic year usually follows the traditional calendar year, beginning in January and ending in November or December. It consists of two main terms: the first term starts in January and runs until May or June, while the second term begins in July and concludes in November or December. Each term is separated by school holidays, including the year-end, mid-year, and other shorter breaks, as well as public holidays. These holidays often coincide with cultural and religious celebrations, reflecting Malaysia’s diverse society. It's important to note that the specific dates for the start and end of the school year can vary depending on the Malaysian school. It’s advisable to check the official academic calendar for the most accurate information. International schools in Malaysia can vary – some follow private and public structures whilst others take the more westernised approach starting at the end of August or October. If you are considering the best times to enrol, most schools have intakes four times per year. The main one is normally in January, followed by April, August and September.
Is there homework in Malaysian schools?
Yes, homework is a common practice in Malaysia’s schools. The amount and frequency of homework will vary depending on multiple factors including; age, subject, and teacher preferences. Students are expected to complete their homework and submit it on time as it's an integral part of their education. Homework assignments in Malaysian schools can include exercises, research projects, reading assignments, and more, depending on the curriculum and educational level.
Is there a cost for Malaysian schools?
Yes. Public education at primary and secondary schools is provided free of charge to Malaysian citizens. This means that tuition fees for government-run and secondary schools are typically covered by the Malaysian government. However, there can be extra costs associated such as uniforms, books, and school supplies.
While public education is free for Malaysian citizens, there are also many private and international schools in Malaysia that charge tuition fees. These schools often offer different curricula and may cater to expatriate students, provide specialised programmes, or offer additional facilities and services beyond what public schools provide.