How To Find A Great Primary School In Malaysia

Published by alvinauh on

This post is contextualized to the Malaysian context, however, the points here are applicable to other countries. I draw many of the points in this post from my work. As a teacher trainer, I visit many schools and had the privilege to interview teachers and parents. This post will explore some of the characteristics synthesized from those visits and interviews at school.

Student To Teacher Ratio

The student to teacher ratio of a class refers to how many students should be assigned to a teacher at a school. The highest student to teacher ratio in a Malaysian primary school that I have seen is 70:1. In other words, I have seen one teacher to seventy students in a class. That is not conducive to the teaching and learning process.

However, too little in a class is not good for learning, especially in activities such as group discussions. Thus, it is important to find a primary school class in Malaysia with just the right amount of students. That amount ranges from 10 to 32.

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I have seen many teachers overwhelmed by large classes. In Malaysia, there are many classes in primary schools with about 50 students. This can be difficult for the teacher to know the child’s progress well. Thus, having an optimum amount of students ranging from 10-32 ensures that the teacher is able to give equal attention to all of the students.

The Curriculum

In Malaysia, we have a myriad of primary schools to choose from. You could send a child to a National, Vernacular or even a private school. Teachers aside, you need to be aware of what your child will be studying.

In the case of a Chinese primary school in Malaysia, your child will be asked to learn Mathematics and Science in Mandarin. While this is not an issue, they will be learning Mathematics and Science in English in Secondary school. I am a product of such a system and I was able to adapt. As such it is not all bad.

If learning Mathematics and Science in English is a priority for you, do consider a National school with a dual language program. Some schools do offer this and so it is important to check if there are enough teachers to teach Mathematics and Science in English.

Or at least make sure they’re sane (Image source)

Private schools are a great option too, assuming you have the finances to do so. In addition, you will be preparing the child to further their studies overseas. While it is still possible to study in a Malaysian private college, many students from local government schools can still adapt to private colleges. As such, it is my opinion that it is not money well spent.

Another aspect that you should consider is what extracurricular activities does the school offer for free. At one point, Robotics classes were all the hype, now its coding. In terms of sports, a school with a qualified coach in a particular sport would be beneficial to your child. Thus, do consider what the school offers before deciding.


Whichever the primary school you have decided to send your child to, I hope the points above will help you make the best decision to suit you. I hope you have found this post useful. I’ll be tackling the topic of secondary school next. Do let me know your thoughts in the comments below.