In May 2013, The Star published an article which examined the increased popularity of home-schooling among Malaysian parents. Many had decided to turn away from the public education system after coming to terms with the fact that their children were not coping well – academically or emotionally – with the traditional system. Private schools were ruled out because of their expensive fees.
Section 29A of the 1996 Education Act accords that parents who fail to enroll their children in school can be jailed for up to six months, fined up to RM 5, 000, or both. However, parents of home schoolers have clarified with the Ministry of Education that these penalties only apply to parents or guardians who have:
- not obtained approval from the Ministry and
- not provided alternative arrangements to meet their children’s educational needs after removing them from school.
While formal statistics are unavailable, industry experts estimate that there are between 3, 000 to 5, 000 students engaged in home-schooling in Malaysia.
Home-schooling provides various benefits to students. They often benefit from the one-to-one teaching experience, as well as a learning curriculum that can be flexibly adapted to their specific learning needs and intellectual interests. Costs are often low, and the emphasis on independent learning helps home schoolers prepare for the kind of self-directed learning that universities and colleges will demand from them.
There are nevertheless downsides to the home-schooling system, whether in Malaysia or abroad. Here are a number of ways how home tutoring can help augment – and potentially replace – the home-schooling model:
Reducing the burden on parents
The home-schooling model often requires one or both parents to be the primary educator. This can be particularly challenging for parents who have to juggle a full time job, the responsibilities of parenthood and the duties of an educator. Home-schooling can also create a financial burden even if it is often cheaper than formal schooling. This is because a parent may have to give up a full time job in order to take on the role.
If you find yourself struggling to meet the demands of home-schooling on your own, hiring a home tutor or two can be a great way to ease the burden.
Hiring a home tutor (or a few) can also be especially helpful when you need to address a particular subject that you are not well-equipped to teach. Additional help may also be needed when your child needs to prepare for a particular examination, such as the IGCSE ‘O’ or ‘A’ levels, or university entrance tests such as the SAT.
Costs will inevitably rise when home tutors are brought into the equation. One way to maintain the affordability of homeschooling is to group homeschoolers who are of the same learning capacity together for shared classes with a home tutor. This can be done at homeschooling centres will have been created for this purpose or at a designated home (i.e. at one of the student’s houses).
This will allow the homeschooling system to provide additional peer-socialization and peer-learning opportunities, which may otherwise be scarce. The challenge will be in coordinating the logistics of the arrangement and identifying other homeschooling who have the same learning requirements as your child in the same subject.
There’s no one-sized solution when it comes to homeschooling in Malaysia, or even education. Explore your options and opportunities, and do not give up on creating the optimal learning environment for your children!
Did you know that homeschooling in Malaysia has been slowly increasing in popularity under the radar? In this article, we explore how home tutoring can augment and work synergistically with homeschooling.
Robert Wilson was born and raised in Malaysia. He is working as a blogger for ChampionTutor which is famous for Homeschooling in Malaysia. He’s hardworking, competent and trustworthy. His role within the company is to manage a team of Tutors. In his spare time, he loves to read, write and watch movies.