From daddy’s desk – Education worries Pt. 2

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm 18 comments

I guess we will be making a decision based on the following criteria:

  1. Academic standards / quality of teaching
  2. Proficiency in the Malay language
  3. Proficiency in the English language
  4. Mother tongue proficiency
  5. National integration

Academic standards

Among our 4 options, I would rate government schools as last, primarily because of the poorly-made decisions of the Education Ministry which have resulted in a decay in standards. Generally speaking, we have teachers who can’t teach, who can’t speak proper English, and everything else we do not want our child to pick up.

The balance 3 (Chinese school, private government school, and international school), I would rank the same but with different focus on what they want their students to learn, and the teaching methods.

From experience, international schools provide more exposure for the child. In my history classes, we learnt a bit of everything; the Roman empire, Chinese dynasties, English history, Napoleon, US history, etc. Ditto for geography. Wifey tells me that she was only taught Malaysian history and Malaysian geography.

Do Chinese schools teach Chinese history in great detail and only that?

Proficiency in the Malay language

Government schools would do the better job here because of the medium of instruction and the interaction with different segments of Malaysian society.

Proficiency in the English language

Naturally, international schools.

Mother tongue proficiency

Chinese schools

National integration

Many argue that this can only be done in government schools. I have no experience but would it be safe to assume that even in government schools, different races stick amongst themselves with the occasional  one of two students mixing around?

Also, a lot of Chinese-schooled students have a lot of comments about the dominant race in Malaysia. Stuff that you hear all the time, so much so that it tires me to death. I do not want Brae to end up like that. Stereotyping is not good.

When to decide?

Both of us were thinking of only deciding after Brae enters pre-school . However, my cousin (who has 4 kids and has experience with all types of schools except for international), told us that for Chinese schools, you will need to register the child by the time he turns 4 and hopefully with a fat donation to the school’s fund to ensure a gracious welcome.

Time flew very fast before I became a dad. Now, it travels at light speed. In a blink of an eye, Brae is already 9 months old and I am expecting him to turn 4 in similar fashion.

I now know why some parents sign up so early. They have no choice.


Entry filed under: babykhong, Daddy's Corner, Education.

Bite From daddy’s desk – Education Costings

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. vivienlai  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:41 am at 12:41 am

    Aiyo! I typed a long a** comment and clicked on the wrong button and all is GONE!! 😦

    The bottomline is we need to consider the quality std of the teaching candidates we have in Msia. I’ve been hearing complaints of “they do not train them as they used to” from a few folks. Teachers should continue to educate themselves for theirs and their students betterment but how many of them are going to do that?

    I am sure there are great teachers out there in Msia but if they continue to educate students the “art of memorization”, that is not the (my personal opinion) right method. They should teach the whys & hows and use day-to-day stuff as examples for any theories (ok, this applies mainly to Math and Sci subjects).

    Look at me, going off topic. Now you really got me thinking of my child’s future education.

  • 2. nadia  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 9:35 am at 9:35 am

    4 years old? And a BIG fat cheque? Aiyooooo!!!! *scratching my not so itchy head* Which chinese school does your cousin send his child/children to? Gonna need to eat maggi and roti kosong for the next few years. Sigh.

    Nways, I agree about teachers who are supposed to be teaching English or subjects in English who don’t even know the difference between singular and plural. Through my experience while I was studying in UM, there were loads of students (teachers by now, I’m sure) who were studying TESL (teaching english as second language) and when I hear them speak, my heart goes out to those students whom they’ll teach when they graduate. Even some of the lecturers aren’t that proficient in English, so how do you expect the students to be better at the language?

    Something needs to be done with the education system in this country, and it needs to be done FAST! We should go back during the post-colonial time where English is the medium for most subjects and where there were good teachers and lecturers. Bottom line is, if we have good lecturers and good universities, we will end up having good teachers. But if we don’t, I guess we’re stuck with the crappy ones. And how many of us can afford to send our kids to international/private schools?

  • 3. daddykhong  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm

    Rote learning is very common in Chinese schools. That is why they emphasise so much on repetitive tasks. Churning out robots is what they do best. Fortunately these robots are quite good at math and science.

    My cousin has 4 kids and used to live in Cheras. The eldest was sent to a private government school (Sri Garden), 2nd and 3rd to a Chinese school. Youngest was in pre-school.

    He then moved to USJ. Eldest transferred to a government school, not too sure about no. 2 but there were issues with getting enrolled in the nearby Chinese school (Lick Hung, I think). 3rd kid managed to get in after lots of “special arrangements” were made. 4th kid, I’m not too sure.

    The local education system will not change in the near future, definitely not in my lifetime. That I am sure. Just look at the recent hoo-hah over the Ethnic Relations course. I’ve also heard that sejarah textbook writers are changing the facts of Malaysian history by writing whatever pleases the general public.

    In my time, Yap Ah Loy founded KL. Apparently now, he no longer gets the credit but some other chap (and for dubious reasons). Poor old Kapitan Yap must be turning in his grave.

    Don’t worry, I’ll start compiling a list of good mamak stalls in my area and you do likewise. Then we swap, OK?

  • 4. mumsgather  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm

    Thinking about it after pre-school is a bit late since the pre-schools these days start preparing the kid for your choice of either chinese or gomen schools. So you’ve got to have your mind made up by then. I’ve got some old posts on picking kindy and deciding whether to send to chinese or gomen schools. It might interest you to read some of the comments left by the parents. They are good food for thought. Pssst. I oso want a list of the mamak stalls ler…

    Here are my old links:
    1. Chinese School or National School (Most of the comments were left on the Haloscan comments, so you’d have to click there to read. I didn’t include Private Schools cos can’t affort it.)
    2. Kindergarden 101!

  • 5. mumsgather  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm

    Oops. Second link didn’t work. Here it is again.
    Kindergarden 101

  • 6. mumsgather  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm

    I forgot to add. Whichever schools we decide to send our children to, parental guidance is the most important of all in determining their success. Thats just my 2 sens.

  • 7. dragonmummy  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 1:44 pm at 1:44 pm

    For us it’s kind of straight foward, right away we’ve decided that the kids should go to Gomen Chinese Medium primary school (Lik Hung in SS19, that’s is) , just like what I’ve been to and later to gomen secondary school. We hopping that they will study hard enough to secure a place in local university but if they can’t then they will further their studies with “DADDY’s SCHOLARSHIP”.

    Hubby doesn’t know chinese at all, a baba attended a National Gomen School, and he realise he looses out on that, without knowning an extra language. We are from medium income family, we don’t want to work ourself to death and spent most of the money on private school, though we always want the best for our children and I know my SILs will be quite happy to sponsor us if we want to sent the kids to private school. But, we didn’t give private school a thought. We survived quite well throughout our years in gomen school. My cousins all did well in gomen school and one has got scholarship to do medicine in India and the rest are doing well in their respected professional field, their command of English language is good.

    The bottom line is we cannot solely depend on teachers or tutions. Parents play important role in guiding their kids in the studies. There are good teachers in gomen school as well. Most of my uncles and aunts are gomen schools teachers so was my dad, I know there are teachers that really care for the benefit of the students.

    Chinese Gomen School is only half subsidised by the gomen, so usually the school will need “donation” from the students to maintain the school.

  • 8. daddykhong  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm


    I’ve heard about Lik Hung too (the good and the bad). I believe it is also the nearest Chinese school from where we live.

    1. Let’s just say we have decided on Lik Hung too. Where can we get more information? Do they have kindergarten there?

    2. Is there a website that lists all Chinese schools in the country? I only hear of the good ones. I am sure there must be more around.

  • 9. dragonmummy  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm

    Lik Hung also the nearest to our house. Yup, I’ve heard alot of the bad side of it too, but I suppose each schools there are the bad and good side of it.

    1) No, Lik Hung does not have a kindergarten. What kind of information about the school do you need? But I know each gov school, you need to register your kid by the age of 5 on the month of March.

    2) Not too sure where to get the information from the net on the school listing, but I’ve got this directory from Popular Bookshop “Schools of malaysia directory” , cost abt RM65, you can get the complete listings of all the schools (private, internation included) , I suppose you will be able to find valuable information from this directory about pre-school as well. No ranking of all the schools though.

  • 10. dragonmummy  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm

    Opps..sorry , is RM45 for the directory

  • 11. zara's mama  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 5:28 pm at 5:28 pm

    Good luck in your decision!!

    For me it’ll be Chinese school, the fact is I came from Chinese school, and I think our exposure to the English language is much better than the one from the other medium school (private school aside). In secondary school, we have a choice to sit for our science and maths exam in English or Chinese.

    I don’t think I’ll consider private schools, I’d applied to teach in one before, and I know the teachers get a very meagre salary, so you can imagine what kind of teachers there are and where all the money went (not to get quality teachers of course).

    As for international school, I think it’s beyond our league. Unless we strike lotterry.

  • 12. daddykhong  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm


    Registering by age of 5 in the month of March? Must the kid be already 5 years old in March or turning 5?

    Zara’s mama,
    The difficult part about Chinese schools is locating one, and getting accepted. Whatever donations they want I am sure it will be substantially lower than private school fees.

    Guess we will have to make the trip to Lik Hung to enquire. Time to put my broken Mandarin to the test.

    I pray that the application form isn’t in Chinese. Banana me cannot process all Chinese words.

  • 13. dragonmummy  |  Wednesday, August 2, 2006 9:17 pm at 9:17 pm

    Turning 5. I will have to register my girl in March next year but she’s only turning 5 in Dec. Just make sure you have all the docs (utilities bills, kids birth cert) with you and go early March…. (as early as possible!)

    Not sure where you staying though. There’s another Chinese Primary school in USJ, a wawasan school and another one at Subang Village (near the old airport), my aunt teaching there, though it’s in a kampung baru, but the annual gov exam results are quite good each year. (That’s y the the teachers got incentive to travel oversea end of each year due to the student’s performance)

  • 14. MLNS  |  Thursday, August 3, 2006 9:54 am at 9:54 am

    I even had to register my daughter at a private pre-school (4 -6 years) when she turned 1, 3 years in advance!! This was because I couldn’t secure a place for my son in the same school despite the fect that I put my name in the list 1.5 years ahead.

    As for Primary school, definitely sending my son to a Chinese school as I myself acknowledged that it’s a plus to know Chinese. Bearing that in mind, I do not really want to put so much pressure on him to score well as I know my son is lazy to write in Chinese. As long as he is an average student, that’s fine with me. Keeping my fingers & toes crossed.

  • 15. nadia  |  Thursday, August 3, 2006 10:26 am at 10:26 am

    Agreed that parents play a role in determining a child’s success. But I guess good teachers are good role models too.

    For now, we live with my parents in Bangsar and at the end of the year we’re moving to Putrajaya because hubby works in Cyberjaya. Is there any chinese school around that vicinity?????

  • 16. shoppingmum  |  Thursday, August 3, 2006 2:03 pm at 2:03 pm

    I once thought of sending my kids to international school as I’m in this line, and I want my kids to be exposed to freer style of learning process. But then I realise that most kids in international school are ultra rich, and super spoilt. Even if their parents told me that it’s the family teaching that will guide the kids to behave well, but I doubt about peers pressure later when they’re teenageers.
    So, I’ll choose chinese school. It’s more stedious and strict with more homework, so I better don’t let my kids have tuition if it’s not necessary and have some play time for them by then.

  • 17. daddykhong  |  Thursday, August 3, 2006 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm

    Which private pre-school is this? Must be very popular to have a 3-year waiting period.

    We are in-between Subang New Villlage and Subang Jaya so Lik Hung or the school in Subang New Village will do. I believe I know the one you are referring to as we drove past it once.

  • 18. MLNS  |  Friday, August 4, 2006 9:18 am at 9:18 am

    I do not live in KL, so I don’t think you’ll be interested. Lol


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