EDUCATION: International schools boost critical thinking
THE Learning Curve feature, "The rise of international schools" (NST, April 8), revealed that the number of Malaysians attending international schools is on the rise, as parents discover their advantages.
There are 27,796 Malaysians in 70 international schools and they make up 40 per cent of the student population.
Though tuition fees are costly, many parents send their children to international schools because they have lost confidence in national schools.
The "push the pull" factors have played a role in the rise of international schools.
International schools boast of good academic setting, dedicated and experienced teaching staff, state-of-the-art facilities and holistic international curriculum in which the teaching-learning process is interactive.
The English language is the language of instruction in international schools, which have a child-centred curriculum that develops critical thinking.
The schools have students of many ethnic groups with diverse cultural and social backgrounds who can mingle freely and be exposed to foreign study programmes.
The "push" factor from national schools to international schools was exacerbated because of the switch in the policy to teach Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia.
Other factors are the constant changes in education policies, overcrowded classrooms, strong religious influence, dominance of a racial group and an education system that is examination oriented which tests rote learning and memorisation.
Though national schools offer free education, many parents send their children to international schools.
The government should make national schools the school of choice for Malaysian parents.
The education system in national schools has to be revamped and overhauled to meet the demands of the future.