Thursday, October 16, 2008

School @ Malaysia

Education is one of the core element of a nation's growth and development. Education sector contributed countless professional workforces into the economy and service industries, as well as preparing the citizens to embrace the world with full of challenges and uncertainties, in a rightful manner and correct mindset.

Education starts from school, and in this article I'd like to talk about the schools in Malaysia.

Early education system in Malaysia follows the footsteps of the British education system, thanks to the British colonial era decades ago. Today, the education system in Malaysia had changed and differs from the original British education system.

Young Malaysians aged 7 start their first step of formal education in primary school, where they'll be spending 6 years learning the basics of each core subjects, namely language subjects like Bahasa Melayu and English, mathematics and science.

Malaysia is a multi-racial country, thus, different arrangements have been made in order to cater the needs of a certain groups of students. Because of this, different types of primary schools have been setup in all over the nations. Most of the primary schools in Malaysia are funded by the government. Some fully-funded, while some partially-funded.

Sekolah Kebangsaan, SK (National school)

The most abundant primary school of all types. SK is catered for the bumiputra students and it's also available for other races as well. Most of the students in SK consist of Malay ethnic, with minorities of Chinese and Indian population in the school (rarely foreign students). This type of school can been found easily in most cities, even in countryside (kampung) as well.

Basically this school teaches the core languages BM and English but did not offer lessons for Chinese Mandarin or Indian Tamil languages (unless special case). Pendidikan Islam (Islamic studies) has been given priority in this school, as most of the populations are Muslims (for non-Muslims, they'll have Pendidikan Moral, which is Moral studies).

Most of the lessons are taught in Malay, with the exceptional case of science and maths taught in English.

Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina, SJK C (National type Chinese school)

This type of school used to be named as Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SRJK C), but they drop the "Rendah" and become the SJK C we see today.

SJK C consist of majority Chinese, as most of the SJK C are built by earlier Chinese generations in order to give their children the opportunity to study their mother language, Chinese Mandarin. Today, more than 90% of Chinese parents send their children to study in SJK C.

As it stated above, SJK C offers the Chinese Mandarin lesson, as well as the other core languages BM and English. Most of the subjects are taught in Mandarin, except for BM and English. One interesting note is that in SJK C, Maths and Science are taught in two languages, that is Mandarin and English.

Students from SJK C are subjected to heavy burdens as homework seems to be never-ending, strict ruling by teachers, overweight schoolbags etc. These issues have been discussed for years and until now no solution had came out since then. Also, SJK C students are also known for their hardworking attitude, and sometimes become bound-to-the-books type of attitude (read: NERD).

Nevertheless, nowadays an increasing number of Malay and Indian parents are sending their kids into SJK C because of the advantage of learning Mandarin, given the current trend of the uprising China in the wake of the world.

Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil, SJK T (National type Tamil school)

SJK T is mostly attended by Indian students. Compare to SK and SJK C, SJK T is quite uncommon, only a few can be found in a state, as the Indians are the smallest population of all three majority races in Malaysia. At places where no other primary schools are available, children are sent into SJK T. However, this is an uncommon case.

Like SJK C, SJK T gave the chance for students to learn Tamil language, the mother language of majority Indians in Malaysia (other dialects like Hindi and Gujarati).

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