There’s actually a lot more kinds of schools than you thought.
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Whenever there are discussions about schools and national unity, the discussion tends to become centered only around vernacular schools versus public schools (sekolah kebangsaan).
However, there are actually a lot of different kinds of schools in Malaysia. How many did you know?
Public schools (Sekolah Kebangsaan, SK)
These are schools fully funded by the government, open to all Malaysians.
Vernacular Schools (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan, SJK/SMJK)
These are schools using the national curriculum but taught in another medium, namely in Chinese or Tamil. They are only semi-funded by the government.
Religious Schools (Sekolah Menengah Agama)
These are schools that focus on teaching religious studies. Depending on the school, some may incorporate the national curriculum. They can be fully funded or semi-funded by the government, or fully private.
Technical Schools (Sekolah Menengah Teknik)
These schools focus on teaching a vocational skill, which is also funded by the government.
Fully Residential Schools/Science Schools (Sekolah Berasrama Penuh, SBP)
These are select boarding schools for top-performing students, which are funded by the government.
These schools follow the national curriculum but are not funded by the government and are open to non-Malaysians as well. Some schools teach additional curriculum on top of the national curriculum, such as the curriculum for the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) or O-Levels.
These schools do not use the national curriculum. Instead, they teach according to the international education setup from another country, such as the British, American, Australian, or Canadian curriculum. They will sit for internationally recognized examinations such as the Cambridge International Examination or International Baccalaureate.
Malaysia has many different types of schools for education, each with their pros and cons, each catering to teach their students in different ways.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.