International schools: New licence approval criteria under review

KUALA LUMPUR: The education ministry is reviewing the approval criteria for new international school licences to ensure that the quality of education is not compromised, according to the National Transformation Programme Annual Report 2016 which was released yesterday.

According to National Transformation Programme Annual Report 2016, review is to ensure quality of education is not compromised.

It said Malaysia had so far been successful in attracting the establishment of international schools with a current count of 116 international schools against a target of 87 by 2020.

In this regard, more effort must be taken to increase enrolment of these schools to meet the 75,000 students target.

“International schools were advised to market themselves by establishing unique selling propositions or adjusting their fee structure to encourage additional enrolment,” it said.

In the higher education space, continuous dialogues and discussions have been held with relevant parties in the education industry to problem-solve matters that inhibit efforts to position Malaysia both locally and internationally as a competitive education destination of choice.

With vibrant education offerings, Malaysia’s education sector has been identified as a key export area by the National Export Council chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Much more work will have to be coordinated with multiple ministries and agencies to ensure that the national target of 200,000 international students by 2020 is met as global international student mobility is expected to increase to about six million by 2020.

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) has also reported that Malaysian students’ performance in Mathematics and Science improved significantly following the introduction of the NTP and Malaysia Education Blueprint (MEB).

The report said the study was conducted every four years and in its latest instalment in 2015, released in 2016, Malaysia registered 465 points, a 25-point improvement from 2011 in its Mathematics score.

“Among the 16 countries that have improved in Science, Malaysia showed the biggest improvement, with a 44-point jump, and scored 471 points,” the report said.

Therefore, Malaysia aims to be in the top one-third of participating countries in international assessment by 2025.

Currently, based on TIMSS 2015 results, Malaysia is placed among the top two-thirds of participating countries in international assessments, attaining 22nd placing for Mathematics and 24th placing for Science, out of the 39 countries that participated.

The report also said the national preschool enrolment rate in 2016 had increased to 85.56% representing 865,464 children aged four and five years old.

“It should be noted that the enrolment rate for the five-year-old age group is almost universal at 92.1%, although there remains a shortfall in the four-year-old age group with only a 79.4% enrolment rate.

“This is mainly due to a shortage of classes in public preschools and parents’ awareness that children can benefit from preschool education as early as four years old,” the report said.


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