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How to Enroll Your Children in School in Malaysia

If you're a newcomer in Malaysia and enrolling your children in school in Malaysia, here's how:
How to Enroll Your Children in School in Malaysia

Enrolling your child in a public school in Malaysia as an expat can be a complex process, but with the right preparation and understanding, it can be made easier. The Malaysian public school system is open to expat children, but there are several requirements and procedures to follow. You will need to have all the necessary paperwork ready, including your child’s birth certificate, passport, and previous school records. Additionally, you will need to understand the Malaysian school system, which is divided into primary, secondary, and pre-university levels. The school year runs from January to November, with a month-long break in June. It’s also important to note that the medium of instruction in public schools is Bahasa Malaysia, the national language.

  1. Firstly, you need to determine the appropriate school level for your child. Primary school (Standard 1 to 6) is for children aged 7 to 12, secondary school (Form 1 to 5) is for children aged 13 to 17, and pre-university (Form 6) is for students aged 18 to 19.
  2. Next, find a school near your residence. You can do this by visiting the Ministry of Education’s website or contacting the State Education Department.
  3. Once you have chosen a school, you will need to prepare the necessary documents. These include your child’s birth certificate, passport, visa, previous school records, and a letter from your employer (if applicable). If these documents are not in English or Malay, they will need to be translated.
  4. Submit the documents to the school of your choice. The school will then forward these documents to the State Education Department for approval. This process can take up to a month, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of the school year.
  5. Once your application is approved, you will need to pay a small registration fee. The amount varies depending on the school and the level of education.
  6. Finally, your child will need to take a placement test to determine their proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia and other subjects. This will help the school place your child in the appropriate class.

Remember, the process of enrolling your child in a public school in Malaysia requires patience and preparation. It’s important to start the process early and to have all your documents ready. With the right approach, your child will soon be ready to start their educational journey in Malaysia.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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