Friday, July 28, 2006

Are We Going To Mess Up International Schools?

There was quite a bit of rejoicing among parents, concerned about the direction our government schools were heading in, when the announcement that international schools will be more easily accessible to Malaysians. However as matters unfold I foresee that things won't be all that great and many stumbling blocks have to be negotiated before this 'dream' for some is realised.

The 40% quota mentioned earlier still remains but there appears to be now a 'quota within a quota'! The Education Ministry has announced a list of eight criteria or guidelines that will expand the pool of potential Malaysian students at international schools. The guidelines dictate that part of the 40 per cent quota will be reserved for children of government officers working overseas. Now that is a very large number. I wonder how many places will be left remaining for ordinary mortals after the usual VVIP and VIP requests/demands are met? Do you think that any menteri or even state assemblyman whether he be a Malay language champion or not will miss this opportunity to send their kids to mat salleh schools?

To make things next to impossible to get in, your child's applications to the schools will be forwarded to the Private Education Department which will decide on whether to accept or reject it. So be prepared to receive dukacita letters soon.

Following are some of the cumbersome criteria that parents should fulfil:

* parents who can bring in foreign direct investment (FDI) or contribute towards the nation’s economy.

• they should have worked overseas for at least two years;

• be categorised as Malaysian professionals overseas and who would like to return to Malaysia using government incentives;

• those with children who are medically certified as having problems that require special attention, such as dyslexia or attention deficit disorders;

• those with a number of children studying in international schools;

• those whose children were born overseas and did not possess Malaysian citizenship; and,

• those with definite proof that they have been instructed to work overseas in the near future.

So if you are a simple ordinary parent who had hoped to give the best for your child and at the same time escape the dump our own schools have become, my sympathies.

As for you parents who are lucky enough to qualify please don't smile yet, because the education ministry has already set into motion certain 'requirements' which may yet throw a spanner in the works. Among these are that specific subjects must be taught to local students in line with local curriculum regulations. These include Bahasa Melayu and Islamic/Moral studies, along with local studies for primary students and History for secondary students. The subjects will be taught in Bahasa Melayu by local teachers, with teachers for Islamic studies needing the approval of the State Education Director.

Well, if worse comes to worst you can always do what the orang kaya here have been doing for quite a while - send your kids to Singapore.

**** Here is an earlier related post: Cabinet Decision On International Schools - Good Intentions vs Reality.


Blogger mob1900 said...

I'm sure after infiltrating Int. schools, they will start forcing the admin/management to provide other 'facilities' as well, build certain 'buildings', etc. For example: look what happened to Victoria Institution.

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