Are you thinking about home-educating in Malaysia? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re an expat or a local, in this week’s blog we’ll explore the popularity of home-ed in Malaysia, the law and support available for parents and children.
Home-education in Malaysia
Home-education has become a popular option among Malaysian parents in recent years. Reasons include concerns about the local education system, expensive private and international school fees and a general demand for a more flexible alternative. Malaysian home-ed statistics are pretty few and far between. However, it was recently estimated that the number of families home-educating in Malaysia was around 5,000.
Is it legal?
Here’s where things begin to get a little complicated. Officially, home-educating in Malaysia is legal, but there are various conditions. First of all, primary education is compulsory for Malaysian citizens living in Malaysia under the Education Act of 1996. You may face a fine of up to 5,000 ringgit if this is breached. However, pre-primary and secondary-aged children are free to be home-educated with no legal barriers.
Legally you’re required to apply to the Ministry of Education if you are living in Malaysia and you want your child to be exempted from compulsory primary education. Now, the conditions are pretty restrictive. If your child is medically deemed unfit, has an exceptional IQ, or your family is constantly travelling, they may be granted a school exemption. However, there are a couple of other factors (luckily) that the Ministry will take in to consideration. These include whether you’re an expat, your reasons for requiring home-education and whether your home-ed plan / curriculum is “suitable”.
As you can probably tell, the laws are a bit vague and are still in the process of being defined. Several home-ed parents met with the Minister to clarify things. He responded by stating that fines only applied to families who don’t provide their child with an education at all (i.e. neither physical school or home school). In any case though, it’s a good idea to do your research so you’re well clued-in with the legalities of it all.
What support is available?
With home-ed becoming increasingly popular in Malaysia, there are a number of support options available to you. There are various ‘home-schooling’ and private tuition centres, particularly in Kuala Lumpur, that offer private tuition as an alternative method to Malaysia’s national school system. There are also a range of online forums and support groups on social media platforms such as Facebook. This is bound to come in handy if you want advice directly from other home-ed parents in Malaysia.
If you are an expat, there are a whole load of groups on social media you can join to connect with other expats parents locally. This can open up doors to helpful information for your family, including the expat home-ed community in Malaysia. These groups are a great option not only for information, but building a social circle for your child to meet and connect with other home-ed kids.
Online education is a fantastic option if you are looking for a more structured approach to your child’s home-education. My Online Schooling Asia Pacific offers a full-time education online for pupils in the Australia and Asia Pacific region. Our live online lessons are based on the English National Curriculum, and are taught by fully trained and qualified teachers.
Our pupils attend lessons to a set weekly timetable. This takes the pressure off of you as parents to gather resources and deliver lessons yourselves. We guide pupils from Key Stages 2 and 3 right through to iGCSEs and A-Levels. This gives them the opportunity to receive internationally recognised qualifications, while learning from home.
If you’d like to learn more about how online schooling works, download your copy of our school prospectus here.