Parents now are looking into more international schools as schools provide top notch education. With over 100 international schools in Malaysia, which provide globally recognised qualifications such as IGCSE and IB, parents have an issue choosing which school is better. Parents would like to have a school which is “value for money”. All three qualifications IGCSE, IB and Canadian/American Programme, offer a great deal for student’s future, with either of the qualifications they are able to study abroad or even study locally.
“Value for money”
Below is the description of each of the 9 criterions that indicates the ranking of the schools.
1. Facilities of the schools
Facilities are one of the main aspects in a student’s life. With complete facilities, students are able to have the complete experience of their middle/high school life. Facilities that are provided, students are able to explore and experience many different activities. Some schools have their own athletic track (for track and field), futsal court, soccer field, basketball court (indoor and outdoor! So that students will not miss any basketball session even though it is raining) and many more.
2. Labs and Workshop of the schools
Labs and workshops are to carry out experiments, building and creating. Experiments in science subjects are a way to help students to learn, observe, and apply when needed. Workshops specified in designing, building, crafting etc are to embrace and showcase the creativity of the students. Some schools have their very own art/creative art room, separated science labs (so that experiment tools and chemicals are not mixed. I cannot imagine if it is mixed O.O), drama and speech room and even a kitchen/culinary room.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun”
3. Academic and Teaching staff
Most international schools have at least 75% to 50% of expatriate teachers among their academic staff. However, some schools have 40% to 0% of expat teachers. Other than having expat teachers, longest serving teachers and student teacher ratio in a classroom setting are important as it has a better educational and learning process. Do keep in mind that all these factors do not justify the school’s academic standards.
4. Academic Results
For this section, the academic results for each school are from 2018 to 2020. We only look into results from IGCSE which is one of the most prestigious and known programmes in Malaysia. This too shows if the school prepares their students for their next level in life which is for college or university studies.
Alumni that enrolled in Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Imperial universities are included in the scoring system. Students that are awarded for Top of the World and Top of the Country in a subject will also be included in the scoring system. The last factor that will be included are the 90% and 80% A* in IGCSE in a subject, 90% and 80% of A in IGCSE in a subject and 100% passing rate in a subject.
5. Sports and Events
Sports and event results show that students in school not only focus on academics but also sports and creativity. It creates a balance between academic and talent. It also helps students to recognize and understand their non-academic talents. By organizing non-academic events, it shows that the school supports and appreciates their student’s hard work.
Students that represent Malaysia and Asia in a sport event provides a higher advantage for the school. Inter-school competition results that students achieved such as gold, silver and bronze medals are included in the scoring system, however, fourth placing is not included. Schools that organize yearly inter-student cross country or ‘merentas desa’ are also included. Other than sports events, charity events, performance night, talent competition, hackathon and creative arts events (which showcases student’s final product, design showcase etc) are as important as academics and sports. By having these events, it shows that the schools show interest and values their talent.
“just play. have fun. Enjoy the game.”
6. Subject offered
Not all schools offer all IGCSE subjects. For instance, one school may have Foreign Language for French but the other school does not offer French. This is because schools need to have an experienced and skillful teaching staff to teach this specific language (You may not want your child to learn something that is not taught by an experienced teacher). But not to worry! Most schools have basic subjects such as English, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Economics and others for both secondary (high schoolers) and primary students.
7. Clubs and Societies
A school without clubs and societies is like having PB&J without the PB or burger and fries without the fries. All schools will have some sort of club and societies. For instance, most international schools have a swimming club, badminton club, and football/soccer club. Robotics club, drama and speech society, editorial board, debate society and others are based on the school’s term and availability.
8. Handling of incoming parents
Schools that are able to handle incoming parents tend to have a good group of people that communicate and have teamwork among each other. Parents value good, excellent and top-level services from schools, because administration staff are the first to represent the school.
9. Future Preparation
Schools need to have future subjects, events and classes. This is because our world is always evolving and improving into something greater, better and bigger. By having future preparation, it can help students to have a different perception and thinking and are ready to face the future.
Schools that have coding classes, entrepreneurship, video productions and teaches communication skills gain an extra point because not all schools have the ability or facility to facilitate these classes, events or subjects.
Preparation is the key to success.
-Alexander Graham Bell-
As parents hold the responsibility to nurture their child to be the best they can be, parents need to choose a correct school for them. However, some schools may not be as expected, some schools are more academically driven while some focus more on the child’s talent such as music, theatre or sports. Therefore, parents need to know what is best for them and support and encourage them no matter what.
Our research team has spend weeks to collect the necessarily data and information. We would appreciate the school, students and parents of the school to provide us more information of each school so that we can revise the ranking from time to time.
The ‘Malaysia International School Ranking’ is an unofficial guide for parents. Although the information in this guide was believed to be accurate and current at the time of publication, they cannot accept responsibility for any inconvenience, loss, or injury sustained by any person relying on information or advice contained in this guide. Things change over time and parents should take steps to verify and confirm information, especially time sensitive information related to prices, operation, and availability.
Stay tuned for the ‘Malaysia International School Ranking 2021’