Education in Malaysia:
Minorities and foreigners have largely left the public sector in favour of the private schools.” This sentiment is mirrored even by the former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, as he criticised the “vernacular schools” (i.e. Chinese and Tamil national-type public education) for “keeping (Malaysians) apart” and advocated that all children should be taught in Bahasa Malaysia.
Parents of Chinese and Indian minority pupils are voting with their wallets on this issue and are flocking to private institutions that teach in Mandarin, Tamil and/or English.
However, private schools are out of reach for most of the Malaysian population.
For example, enrolling a year-12 student at the International Australian School Malaysia can cost over RM75,000 ($24,200) for one year.
With the average monthly wage (according to the International Labour Organisation) at $961, some of those in the education community have been calling for the creation of low-cost private schools (“AirAsia-type” schools), along the lines of those crated with success – and profits – in countries such as Ghana and India.
Making good on these intentions would be one means of offering parents more options for their children’s education, something which most Malaysians have yet to have the opportunity to consider.