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There Are More Than Just Sekolah Kebangsaan And Vernacular Schools In Malaysia

There Are More Than Just Sekolah Kebangsaan And Vernacular Schools In Malaysia

There’s actually a lot more kinds of schools than you thought.

Anne Dorall

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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.

Students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Sementa celebrating Merdeka.
(Credit: Sekolah Kebangsaan Sementa/Facebook)

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.

Learn skills of trade here.
(Credit: Sekolah Menengah Teknik Setapak/Facebook)

Fully Residential Schools/Science Schools (Sekolah Berasrama Penuh, SBP)

These are select boarding schools for top-performing students, which are funded by the government.

Private Schools

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.

International Schools

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.

A teacher leads students at Garden International School.
(Credit: Gardens International School/Facebook)

Malaysia has many different types of schools for education, each with their pros and cons, each catering to teach their students in different ways.

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