An Essential Guide to Malaysia’s Education System

Malaysian students

The Malaysian federal government, especially the Ministry of Education (also known as the Kementerian Pendidikan), is in charge of the education system in the country as a whole, including private and international schools.

However, the responsibility of coordinating the specifics of the educational system in each state and territory lies with the individual states and territories.

Preschool, primary education, secondary education, and post-secondary education are the individual stages that make up the overall education system. Free education is available up to the post-secondary education level.


The Education System in Malaysia 


Preschool education in Malaysia begins for children at the age of 4, according to the country’s educational system. When a kid reaches the age of six on the first day of January of a given school year, he or she is eligible to start the first year of primary education.

After finishing elementary school, students go on to high school and then to a post-secondary school to continue their education.


Primary and Secondary Education

Primary education lasts for 6 years, followed by 5 years of secondary education. The government pays for students’ education through the elementary and secondary levels of public schools. Although primary and secondary education in Malaysia is free, students are required to pay for their own miscellaneous expenses.

From this year onward, the Form Three Assessment (PT3) test (a national examination for form three students nationwide) will no longer be administered. This decision was made by the Ministry of Education.

The Education Minister, Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin, has said that the PT3 examinations would no longer be administered. He also mentioned that the government will be working to improve the assessments that are given in schools and classrooms to gauge how well pupils understand their lessons.

This new initiative seems to be a step in the right direction to ensure that our educational system is not overly dependent on centralized examinations.


Post-secondary Education

Students who have already earned specific credentials have the option of continuing their education at post-secondary institutions to get prerequisite credentials for universities.

The sixth form, matriculation programs, and pre-university credentials such as the GCE “A”, IGCSE, and OxfordAQA are some examples of these. Education can be continued in tertiary or higher education institutions, where a certificate or diploma can be given after a program is finished successfully.

Opportunities to further one’s education at higher levels include obtaining certificates and diplomas, as well as degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

In contrast to the undergraduate level, which includes professional studies and leads to a bachelor’s degree, the postgraduate or higher level of education leads to a master’s degree or a PhD.


Public, Private, and International Schools

Public, private, and international school providers play equally important roles in the provision of lower and higher education to both Malaysian and international students. Numerous educational opportunities can be found in both public and private schools.


Straits International School Penang (SIS)

The mission of Straits International School Penang (SIS) is to equip every student with the tools necessary to unlock their true potential while also preparing them for the next steps in their educational journey, regardless of where those steps may take them.

This approach is both effective and accessible.

As a result, SIS provides students with the opportunity to choose between the IGCSE Cambridge curriculum and the OxfordAQA program. These curricula are recognized all over the world as the best way to get a high school diploma and as a stepping stone to more advanced academic study in the UK and other countries.

Students, even those attending international primary and private secondary schools, have an easier time advancing to the next stage of their education with the credentials given by OxfordAQA.

Students who choose to attend Straits International School Penang can be sure that their OxfordAQA qualifications will be accepted by educational institutions all over the world as being similar to those earned in the UK.


In Closing

Malaysia is known around the world because both the government and private education work to improve the education infrastructure, human resource development, and curricula so that students can get a better education.

For further information about Straits International School Penang (SIS), including the programmes it offers, feel free to get in touch with our friendly and helpful course consultants.