What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
Malacca Expatriate School
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
Kindergarten to Year 11
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The school operates from an old bungalow. It converted bedrooms into classrooms. So one can imagine how small the class size is. The school cannot accommodate more than 12 children in any 1 classroom. This means for the primary and secondary schools one can expect no more than 12 students in either Year 1,2,3 etc.
Its grounds are limited. There are no proper courts nor a good sized field for outdoor activities. Since the kidnapping case involving an international school student in KL, the MES school children have to go straight to their classes in the mornings. No leisure time with friends in the school compound. Something that the children have been unhappy since.
The ECA activities are conducted in-house as well as in a local Sports Club nearby. Parents have to car pool to send their kids to the club. This is inconvenient generally. Anyway, due to the small numbers, they can't choose to have several activities to be involved in a week. The school decides which actiivity to run at the beginning of the trimester and the students have to attend regardless their interest. For example, if the school selects badminton for Sports, then for the entire trimester, the kids have to be shuttled to the nearby club at the parents expense. so far, they have had badminton and tchoukball, football (private arrangement and non-compulsory). The ECA was only available beginning Sept 2011. Other activities carried out were also origami-making, baking, art and craft which were on ad hoc basis. However, there is not much depth in the activities. Merely to fulfill the simple purpose of having ECA.
What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home
country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?
Little. I have some friends whose kids' command of English was poor. Ten-year olds were assigned to Year 1 class when they were supposed to be in Year 5. This due to their poor command of English. Now, when they need to leave for another school, the new school states that they are not on par age-wise and refuses to accept them to enter even for the new school's lower grades because of different policies. Therefore, parents please be aware of this.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
PTA is non-existent. The school operates on a close-door culture. The school principal appears to hear your grouses but little else is done to follow-up. Parents do end up frustrated. The school's approach is.. if you don't like it here, feel free to pull out your kid. There appear to not want to incur unnecessary costs but for the facilities that they have, it is overpriced.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
For the Malaysians, it is pricey for what they can offer. Academics wise, one may be disappointed as it operates very much like a village school. Not much homework because expatriates do not like them. If you want extra, do at home yourself or go for tuition. For ambitious expatriates wanting solid ECAs, you can give this school a miss. You will be sorely disappointed. Don't come to Malacca at all if you have high expectations. However, if you want to just get by and your child is in primary, perhaps you can made do here. But not for long.