For parents, choosing a school takes up a lot of time and energy, which includes research, school visits and considering children’s preferences before the final decision is made.
However, there is also another looming issue over their heads, which is the sky-high cost of obtaining a quality education.
It is important to note that schools adjust their fees every year according to inflation.
Hence, depending on how prestigious an international school is, and if you intend for your child to have a complete international education, you may be set for financial peril, if you don’t plan ahead.
The good news is that Malaysia has around 163 international schools and not all of them are expensive.
These schools can be divided into different price tiers and while tier 1 schools can burn a hole in your pocket, lower tier schools are more affordable.
Hence, international schools that offer the basic quality education without the extra costs do exist in Malaysia. Here are some of the most affordable:
1. Al Noor International School (AIS-KL), KL
Following the Cambridge syllabus, AIS-KL currently caters to the educational needs of students of more than 34 nationalities and follows a tri-curricular programme that combines British, Bahraini and Indian curriculums. The school also has a branch in Kuantan, Pahang.
Estimated annual total fees: RM7,953 – RM18,000
2. Sri Sempurna International School, Taman Cheras, KL
Starting off with the Malaysian school syllabus in 1993, the school moved on to offer the Cambridge Primary Syllabus and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in 2013.
Estimated annual total fees: RM10,000 – RM18,000
3. Global Indian International School (GIIS), Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
Founded by the non-profit Global Indian Foundation, GIIS Kuala Lumpur is unique in its offering of dual curricula for primary to secondary school – Year 1 to Year 12 for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), India, and the Cambridge curriculum.
GIIS Kuala Lumpur is one of the many campuses across the globe which include India, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
Estimated annual total fees: RM12,756 – RM22,728
4. Westlake International School, Kampar, Perak
Westlake International School is located within the education hub of Perak which includes two premier institutions of higher education, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC).
Estimated annual total fees: RM8,640 – RM24,660
5. United International School, Batu Pahat, Johor
Located in the southern part of the peninsula, United International School combines the best of international and national curricula as it employs both the Cambridge International Examination Curriculum as well as the established local syllabus.
Estimated annual total fees: RM7,300 – RM21,600
6. Labuan International School (LIS), Labuan
The first and only private international school in Labuan, LIS provides both national and international curricula at the primary and secondary school level to fit students’ educational wants and needs.
Estimated annual total fees: RM4,400 – RM17,700
7. Woodlands International School (WIS), Sibu, Sarawak
As one of the only international schools in the area, WIS runs the International Early Years Curriculum and International Primary Curriculum for the early years’ levels.
In addition, it is fully accredited to run the full Cambridge Programme all the way to A-levels.
Estimated annual total fees: RM6,000 – RM19,800
Smart finances for quality education
While many equate cheap to low quality, it is not necessarily so. Most affordable international schools save on cost by employing local teachers instead of expatriates.
However, they are generally strict on their teachers’ credentials, and hence only employ those who have relevant qualifications from good institutions. So there is no worry on whether the teachers are qualified.
Besides that, unless your child participates in rare and more expensive activities such as horse-riding or ice skating, the aforementioned international schools have adequate facilities to support your child throughout their learning journey, such as swimming pools and drama clubs at a fraction of the cost.
In the end, this article merely provides you with a list of the most affordable international schools in Malaysia.
The responsibility is still on you as a parent, to research and inquire with these schools to determine the best one for your child.
SchoolAdvisor.my provides information on private and international schools, extra-curricular activities as well as other education-related topics in Malaysia.