There are several benefits that come with enrolling your child in an international school in Penang, Malaysia instead of a public school.
Even though the original intent of establishing international schools in Malaysia was to provide for foreign students who want to study in Malaysia, local parents choose to enroll their children in the international school because they see the numerous benefits that come with studying in international schools.
With parents taking more interest in the kind of education their kids would be getting in schools, they want to know how the kids will be taught, if there’s really a difference in learning style in public and international schools and the kind of education the schools offer.
For example, in international schools in Penang, the students are given the freedom to think outside the box to help build strong leadership qualities and problem-solving capabilities. The students are taught ‘how’ to think, instead of ‘what’ to think. This approach helps the child to think critically and evaluate circumstances thoroughly.
International schools focus more on the personal development of the child thereby making the child grow into a fully-developed adult who can connect with himself, the society, and the natural world.
Public schools, on the other hand, focuses on exam-based assessments and a didactic approach to learning. Interactions between the students and the teachers in the classroom are little. Also, the majority of class time is spent on the child listening to only the information taught by the teacher.
International schools in Penang deploy a curriculum different from the national standard. Its rich curriculum includes the English National Curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE and International Baccalaureate (IB).
Also, the curriculum is recognised worldwide and wholly communicated in the English Language. Other subjects in the curriculum include fine arts, music, literature, and drama.
The subjects offered in international schools are more diversified and support the schools’ aim to cultivate students capable of critical and creative thinking along with academic excellence.
For public schools, they only implement the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) and Secondary School Standard Curriculum (KSSM), and students are required to sit for the UPSR, PT3 and SPM exams.
International schools are made up of students from different countries making students experience in school very exciting as they make friends from other countries and learn about their backgrounds and cultures.
Most public schools consist of only Malaysians who are already familiar with the background and cultures of fellow students.
The class size in international schools are not large compared to the public schools — about 20 students or less per class. This number encourages individualized learning among students.
It also allows each student to focus on their strengths and weaknesses in any area. It also encourages the students to speak up in the classroom thereby building their confidence along the way.
Public schools, on the other hand, have a large number of students in each class, averaging between 30 and 40. With such a large number, coupled with the limited time spent on each subject daily, there’s very little opportunity for teachers to engage on a deeper level with the students.
Because of this, when a student doesn’t fully understand a particular topic or subject, he/she is left to figure it out all by himself. Consequently, parents are forced to pay for private lessons outside of school.
As the saying goes, every good thing comes with a price. The cost of getting an education for your kid in an international school in Penang may be more expensive than a public school, but it is well worth the price in the long run.