Public School or Private School? | | | Deciding on which school to send your children to can be quite difficult these days. An easy option for some parents would be to send their children to schools that are nearest to their homes to make it convenient to send and fetch their children. However, for those who want the best education for their children, the best option is to send their children to private schools. There are noticeable differences between private and public schools. The main question however is whether we get what we pay for when it comes to our chosen educational institutions? Deciding on which school to send your children to can be quite difficult these days. An easy option for some parents would be to send their children to schools that are nearest to their homes to make it convenient to send and fetch their children. However, for those who want the best education for their children, the best option is to send their children to private schools. There are noticeable differences between private and public schools. The main question however is whether we get what we pay for when it comes to our chosen educational institutions? Tuition Fees
The most obvious difference between the two systems is the tuition fees. Private schools cost more than public schools, which are virtually free except for the occasional co-curriculum activities which may cost up to RM500 annually in some schools.. Private school like The Alice Smith School in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, according to their official website, charges up to RM38,000 for admission fee per student. On top of that there is an annual tuition fees of about RM12,000 for primary level and RM15,000 for secondary level respectively. For the Australian International School at Seri Kembangan Selangor, according o their website, parents will need to fork out about RM41,000 (admission plus tuition fees) for the first year. In the subsequent years, each student, needs to pay RM25,000 to RM44,000 per annum. According to Garden International School Kuala Lumpur‘s website, students are required to pay about RM30,000 on admission during the first year. The annual fee cost is anywhere between RM900 to RM13,000. Facilities and Learning Environment The advantage of paying so much for private schools is that the students get to benefit from the better facilities and well-trained, highly qualified teaching staff.
Aside from the state-of-the-art computer labs, sports facilities and libraries, private school classes are also less crowded allowing more personal learning environment. In public schools, one single classroom could be occupied by 30 to 40 students compared to 20 to 30 students in private schools. Less students per class means the teaching staff can give more attention on the students. Also, with less number of pupils in each classroom, it will be much easier for teachers to conduct and control the class.
This means less distraction and more attention from both the students as well as the teachers. There are some government schools that receive government funding and these schools do offer better facilities (for public school standards). For these schools, the students performance in major exams determines their spending budget for the following year. Early this year, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the list of 20 High Performance Schools and, as a reward, each of the schools that made the list were given more autonomy to control their spending budget.
You can forget about facilities such as Olympic-size pools and sports complexes in public schools, except in sports schools such as Sekolah Sukan Bukit Jalil. At the Australian International School, they have 25m eight-lane swimming pool, gymnasium and an auditorium. At Garden International School, they provide the students with an art centre, 500 network computers with internet facilities, medical centre and even air-conditioned classrooms. Safety is also a plus for some private schools whereby they have made a point to install surveillance cameras to record the movements of people moving in and out of the school.
Such safety precaution is rarely found in public schools. Curriculum As for curriculum, private schools usually use international syllabuses that are slightly different from our local syllabus. Australian International School uses the NSW Board of Studies Curriculum. Students who finishes their secondary education at the school will get the Higher School Certificate (HSC) which is accepted by most universities around the world and it allows easier entry into Australian and New Zealand Universities.
Meanwhile, Garden International School‘s secondary level students would have to sit through the International General Certificate of Education Examinations (IGCSE). The examination is equivalent to the British GCSE (O levels) or Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) of our national Integrated Secondary School Curriculum (KBSM) which is widely implemented in public schools. There are private schools that use KBSM for their syllabus too such as Sekolah Sri KDU in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya.
Although private schools seem to offer much more in terms of providing quality education in a conducive environment compared to public schools, it doesn’t mean the latter are not relevant any more. Public schools are still the first choice for middle and lower income families and these schools also has produced many distinguished students. For the 2009 SPM results that came out recently, the Education Ministry had announced the top three public schools that produced the best results: Sekolah Menengah Sains Seremban (Negri Sembilan), Kolej Islam Sultan Alam
Shah (Klang, Selangor) and Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Gombak (Sungai Pusu, Kuala Lumpur). Wide Gap Between Public and Private Schools In conclusion, there appear to be a huge gap between private and public school in aspects of facilities and infrastructure. While in terms of education syllabus, the national system of KBSM is essentially satisfactory for admission to local and foreign universities. On the other hand, the government needs to revise the national syllabus from time to time as we need to cope with the fast changing age of globalisation.
There’s also a need to equip the students with the best knowledge and skills necessary in facing the real world seeing as they are the future leaders of this nation. While it’s important to choose the best education syllabus for our youths, in the end, how well a student does in school still depends on how hard they want to study. It is no use to have the best syllabus and facilities if the pupils themselves are not motivated to study hard and get a good results. Although most public schools operates on a very tight budget this should not be the reason for some public schools to have poor facilities and infrastructures.
For parents who can afford to spend on their children’s education, maybe it is the best to send their them to private schools. But for parents who belong to the middle and lower income groups, the public schools are still quite reliable. On the whole, we do have high quality public schools in our country as stated earlier. Moreover, parents should bear in mind that one of the main plus point of public schools is that it offers more of a ‘real’ setting that will be helpful in preparing their children to face the outside world during the later stages of their lives.