Private National VS International School Curriculum

November 20, 2020


Choosing the right school, whether it is a private or international school for your children, is an important decision as it sets the future of their learning journey. Giving your children the right education and environment may be one of the hardest parental decisions as this process requires thorough considerations.

To help you identify which school would best fit your child, you have to know the difference between the Private School and the International School.


Characteristics of Private Schools

  • Private educational institutions follow the Malaysian National Standard Curriculum for Primary (Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah) and the National  Standard Curriculum for Secondary School (Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Menengah), as required by the Education Act 1996
  • It offers dual languages in some subjects like Mathematics and Science.
  • The content of learning covers mostly local subject matters.
  • Lessons are conducted by local teachers.   
  • Co-curricular activities are compulsory.
  • The learning content and examinations are based on structured format followed by all national schools in Malaysia.
  • The SPM / STPM qualifications are used as the entry into local public and private universities 


Characteristics of International Schools

  • The curriculum used is from the Cambridge International Examination or International Baccalaureate
  • English is the main language of instruction followed by Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin and other languages as second language options
  • The content of learning covers mostly international subject matters 
  • IGCSE / A Levels and IB qualifications are used as entry to the local or overseas private universities 
  • Teachers are expatriates with a  mix of local teachers giving wider knowledge and exposure to different teaching strategies for students  
  • Co-curricular activities are add ons but not necessarily compulsory
  • Fees are usually higher given that the curriculum and most lessons are taught by expatriate teachers. 
  • Largely theme-based at the primary level, the curriculum encourages critical thinking and explorational learning format. 

MGS school reopening


Where does Matrix Private School stand in the midst of these differences?

  • Cambridge English, Mathematics and Science are embedded in our curriculum. This raises the standards of these subjects when compared to other private and public schools. Our students will have a better grasp of these 3 core subjects. 
  • A majority of public or private schools are rigid on subject-based learning. Our students are exposed to the east and west education pedagogy where both the International and Private school joint participation in school activities. This gives a wider learning exposure to the private school students that cannot be found in national public schools.
  • Our students are exposed to experiential-based learning. This is done through creative projects in the Performing Arts, Music and Art and Craft.  
  • The classrooms are small with no more than 25 students. This increases the opportunity for better interaction between students and teachers. Teachers are able to pay more focused attention to the growth of each student.
  • Leadership is emphasized in our students as it builds accountability and responsibility. In place are student councils and prefectorial boards whose members undergo rigorous training programmes to build their leadership skills.  
  • Students who need guidance in language go through enrichment programmes in Bahasa Melayu and English. This also applies in the international school.
  • State-of-the-art facilities and large spaces available encourage better learning experience. The space and equipment help facilitate more creative ways for students to be engaged in each subject. Teachers use this opportunity to further enhance their learning. 
  • Student safety remains a top priority given the pandemic situation. SOPs are in place to protect every student and ensure learning is not affected. 
  • Technology equipment enables our school to replicate physical learning in online learning. Students experience an almost similar experience to learning in a physical classroom during their online lessons. 

It is important to get the best set of experiences for every child. Consider the learning path in the primary and secondary school as you prepare them for the working world.  If this interests you, contact us and our education counsellors are more than happy to attend to your questions and queries.