Sunday, 13 May 2012

Putrajaya scraps local student quota in international schools

May 13, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — Malaysia’s ambitions to be a regional education hub has received a boost with Putrajaya scrapping the 40 per cent cap for local students to enrol in international schools nationwide “with immediate effect”.

The New Sunday Times today quoted Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong as saying the move is in line with the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

“We have to compete with neighbouring countries in the educational field,” he said, pointing out that Singapore and Thailand had already lifted their quotas.

He added the decision also followed requests from Malaysian parents for more places for their children in the international schools, which number almost 100 nationwide.

The weekly also quoted Sri Kuala Lumpur International School chief executive Hanif Othman Merican as saying that while he welcomed the move, they had not received an official directive from the ministry.

But Parent Action Group for Education president Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahman told The New Sunday Times that she opposed the move as it would create “a new social divide between communities of different socio-economic levels”.

She said that only children who cannot afford the international school fees will remain in national schools, which will result in reduced competitiveness among the students there.

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