Culture of education in Malaysia
Education in Malaysia is growing more and more competitive. In recent years, changes in national education policies (such as the implementation of the Dual Language Programme or DLP and the removal of the segregation system based on students’ academic performance) as well as Malaysia’s goal to become a top education destination have bolstered the country’s scholastic environment. As it aspires to meet rising international academic standards, Malaysian students, parents, and teachers are beginning to feel the weight of such aspiration.
Empowered by the goals that it had set out to accomplish as published in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 - 2025, the Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (KPM) or Ministry of Education Malaysia seeks to “better prepare Malaysia’s children for the needs of the 21st century.” And parents seem to agree with this, as evidenced by the increase in demand for tuition in the country.
In 2017, Malaysia was ranked 8th out of 15 countries in terms of education spending, which means that on average, Malaysian parents spend RM11,000 on their child’s education. This comes as no surprise seeing that nearly two-thirds or 64% of Malaysian parents believe that spending for their child’s education is one of the best investments that they can make. And because most parents put a premium on education, supplementary tutoring or “tuition” has become such an inevitable part of Malaysia’s education system.
Malaysia’s tuition trend
Tuition in Malaysia mainly comes in two forms. The first is “private tuition,” which is also called personal tuition, home tuition, in-home tuition, or one-to-one tuition, which, from the name itself, means a student receives individual or one-to-one instruction from a tutor to help improve his or her academic performance. On the other hand, “group tuition” or mass tutoring means the enrolment of a student in a tuition centre along with other students to better his or her learning through the aid of a teacher or tutor. It is quite similar to the traditional classroom setup in terms of teacher-to-student ratio (sometimes bigger with a 1:35 teacher-to-student ratio) and it follows a syllabus as well, but its focus is to reiterate or re-teach topics or lessons that students might have missed or failed to grasp during regular schooling hours. While private tuition sessions are usually held at the student’s home or the private tutor’s residence, group tuition sessions are conducted on a large-scale at a tuition centre to cater to a large number of students.
From New Straits Times
According to a study published in 2017, 88% of Malaysia’s primary school students undergo some form of private tuition, while the Ministry of Education Malaysia cites that there are more than 3,000 registered tuition centres all throughout the country. Although different and at first sight may seem to work against each other, private tuition and group tuition exist harmoniously alongside each other. This is proof that the demand for tuition has inevitably grown to accommodate the various needs of parents and their lifestyles, and ultimately, to address the different cognitive skills and learning styles of children.
Maths in Malaysia
The Ministry of Education Malaysia has openly admitted its desire to improve the mathematics education of Malaysian students, especially in the primary level. In its Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 - 2025, it says that when the cognitive performance of Malaysian students is compared with international standards, the results can be quite discouraging.
The Blueprint discusses international standards through the scores of Malaysia in international student assessments like Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study or TIMSS and Programme for International Student Assessment or PISA. It notes that when Malaysia first joined TIMSS in 1999, the average mathematics score of its students was higher than the international average. But by 2011, the scores have critically dropped, dipping below the international average score in math. PISA scores also reflect the same findings, revealing that 60% of 15-year-old Malaysians do not meet international proficiency standards in mathematics. This is in stark contrast to 15-year-olds from neighbouring Asian countries like Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong, wherein students are performing as though they have had three or more years of schooling than 15-year-olds in Malaysia.
Further evidence is presented by a study published in the UNIMAS STEM Engineering Conference (EnCon) 2016, which was held in Sarawak. The research revealed that the majority of first year students do not meet the basic mathematics requirement during university admission. This means that students’ mathematics performance pre-university admission is a reflection of the math education that they received during primary and secondary school. Therefore, poor math mastery in earlier academic years equates to poor mathematics performance during university admission.
And so, it comes as no surprise that the Ministry of Education Malaysia has agreed to put more focus on maths in primary school, further encouraging state governments to hold additional maths classes for primary school students.
Maths tuition options
And so the question arises: Does my child need math tuition?
From Malay Mail
The answer is, if you want your child to get ahead of the academic curve, then yes. If you want your child to ace his or her Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah or UPSR (Primary School Achievement Test), yes. If you want your child to enter university and prepare him or her for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or SPM (Malaysian Certificate of Education), yes. And, ultimately, if you want your child’s maths knowledge and skills to be at par with global standards, yes.
To help parents better their child’s mathematics performance, here are some math tuition options. Each platform offers a variety of options to help parents and students make informed decisions, and, ultimately, choose the tuition option that best suit their lifestyle and needs.
List of 10 Math Tuition Providers, from Centers, to Home, to Online for Primary Math in Malaysia:
Pusat Tuisyen Alfa Akademik
Ai Tuition Centre
Elite Home Tuition Agency Malaysia
My Quality Tutor
1. TUITION CENTRES
Location: Opp Tiffani Kiara, Jalan Duta Kiara, Taman Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50480
Contact: +60 19-725 7006
Rates: Fees start at RM 65 per class or RM 130 per hour
Intuition offers programs that go beyond helping students as it aims to provide students with a unique learning experience to gain necessary knowledge and skills to succeed through a team of high-qualified tutors who have taught in international and local schools in Malaysia. Intuition offers tuition in a range of subjects that cater to various ages and needs.
Location: 1st Floor, Eng Choon Building, No 55-59 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur 50450
Rates: Fees start at RM 60 per month
Pusat Tuisyen Alfa Akademik or Alfa Academic Tuition Centre specializes in providing the best tutorial classes for both Malaysian Government Examination (PT3 & SPM), and the Cambridge International Examination (CIE) – the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). All classes are conducted in English except for Bahasa Melayu (Malay Language).
Location: First Floor 54 Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur 50050
Rates: Registration fee is at RM 50
Ai Tuition Centre aims to provide quality education to students at affordable rates. It is an established tuition centre that aims to provide advantages that home tuition cannot afford. It is a tuition centre that allows online registration where even just one student can attend class. It assures classes are kept small to ensure that students get ample attention from the teacher and that no student lags behind.
2. PRIVATE TUITION
Address: Taman desa setapak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 53300
Contact: +60 13-944 5519 / 013-944-5519
Rates: Fees start at RM 200 per month
Elite Home Tuition Agency Malaysia provides qualified and experienced tutors with a minimum of three years experience to assure quality tuition. It provides home tutors in Malaysia for any subject under various syllabus including UPSR, PT3, SPM, IGCSE, O-Level, and A-Level. Any parent or student who wishes to get a suitable home tutor can get in touch with Home Tuition Malaysia.
Address: 5, Jalan Bentara 1, Taman Iskandar, 80050 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Rates: Year 1 to 6 ranges from RM 40 – RM 50 per hour
My Quality Tutor provides a platform to connect students and/or parents with specialized tutors in all subjects in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Johor Bahru, Melaka, Seremban, and other states). It has tutors that are either experienced government/international/Chinese independent school teachers (and some are examination markers) or full-time/part-time experienced tutors who can help students academically.
Address: Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia 47301
Contact: +60 12-211 9510
Rates: Year 1 to 6 starts at RM 60 per hour
Tuition Hero Malaysia is a full service home tuition agency that aims to help students achieve learning excellence by matching them with the right professional tutors to suit their learning needs. Its tutors provide learning environment that is conducive by conducting classes in one-to-one or small group formats to ensure each student is nurtured with adequate attention based on their learning pace.
3. ONLINE TUITION
• Teach Me
Rates: Not provided on the website
Free Class Trial: Provides Demo Trial
Teach Me is an online tutoring and tuition platform. It offers help with learning and trying to understand class lessons by helping students find the best tuition teacher to guide and teach him or her through lessons and helping students achieve better understanding of the materials through TeachMe’s own virtual online classroom. It aims provides qualified tutors from different backgrounds for varieties of subjects to choose from to satisfy your specific requirements.
Rates: Not provided on the website
Free Class Trial: Provides Demo Trial
Champion Tutor is originally a tuition platform that offers private home tutor services in Malaysia but has expanded to online tuition services as well. It aims to connect students to the best tutors right at their screen.
Rates: Depending on the tutor
Free Class Trial: None
Teacher On is a free website that acts as a marketplace of tutors. It aims to make every teacher searchable in the world to provide students with a teacher within 24 hours of posting their requirement.
iMath: the future of maths tuition
Despite the above-listed tuition choices, the Malaysian tuition market comes up short when it comes to online options. Upon searching, students and parents will find that most online tuition platforms do not readily disclose their rates and do not have their own virtual classrooms. Most important is its lack of focus on maths, as evidenced by the listed options: not a single tuition centre or website specializes in mathematics alone.
With iMath, students and parents can expect an intensified focus on mathematics to help students learn and master fundamental mathematics concepts. This way, their path towards acing their UPSR as well as SPM success is guaranteed through the help of a community of math experts and enthusiasts. Because iMath has enlisted the help of supportive and professional tutors, you can expect your child to receive superb instruction that feels like a helping hand. Add to this the safety and convenience of iMath’s own virtual classrooms and its accessible community wall. What’s best is that your child can experience all of these at a schedule that is most productive for him and most convenient for you, right at the comfort of your own home.
This post was written by Louise Adrianne Lopez.