Many parents in Malaysia today tend to start planning for their child’s education even before they are born.
Thanks to the escalating cost of preschools, private schools and tertiary education on top of the perpetual rise of cost of living, this is something that does require a lot of planning, and this needless to say, going to cost parents a lot of money!
When it comes to schooling expenses, parents are not only concerned about the school fees, but there are many other miscellaneous expenses that come along with it such as school supplies, uniforms, allowance money for the children, after school tuition classes and many other. These all need to be taken into consideration as well as the budget that the parents must make when their children are ready to start schooling.
Let’s take a closer look at the costs involved in schooling expenses in Malaysia.
For many parents, as their children enter the preschool years, it also means it’s the start of a long journey to start forking out a lot of money, as this is the start of a long 10 – 11 years of schooling years journey.
A preschool in Jalan Ampang charges RM770 per month for full-day care, RM620 for care until 2 pm, and RM450 for care until 11.45 am. Full day here usually means the same amount of time the parents are away for work. Another preschool in the Klang Valley charges RM1,300 a month for education and childcare for children aged between 2 ½ years old to 6 years old. Parents pay RM700 for a half-day session here.
Parents end up spending more than one third of their salaries on childcare during preschool level. This costs obviously goes up with the more number of children they have.
Private and international school
We took a look at a few private schools and a few international schools so you can compare the difference in school fees. Bear in mind though, these are only the school fees. You still have to think about deposits, field trips fees, books and materials and many other charges that private and international schools usually charge.
Beaconhouse Sri Inai in Petaling Jaya charges around RM10,000 per year for primary levels and about RM13,000 per year for secondary levels. The Sapura Smart School, on the other hand, charges between RM11,000 and RM15,000 per year. Sekolah Sri Tenby charges between RM10,000 to RM12,000 per year.
Garden International School charges RM35,000 per year at nursery level and this figure steadily goes up to RM75,000 per year at Year 10 level. Fairview International School, which provides the IB (International Baccalaureate) curriculum, charges between Rm18,000 to RM45,000 per year. Some of the more reasonably priced international schools are schools like Tanarata International Schools. Fees here range from RM10,000 to RM15,000 per year. You also have the international schools that use American education system and the Australian education system with fees that range from RM40,000 to RM150,000 per year.
For more details on the fees and charges by some of the international schools in Malaysia, click here.
If your child goes in for the pre-university program, or the GCE ‘A’ Levels, you will be expected to pay between RM10,000 and RM20,000 for an 18 month course. Canadian pre-university programs cost about the same, but if you are planning to opt for the IB Curriculum, be prepared to pay around RM50,000 for the course. Malaysian pre-university programs in comparison, costs much less at about RM8,000.
After completing the pre-university program, your child will very likely continue with their degrees.
If you opt for a private college degree program where all three years are completed locally, you are looking at a total cost of about RM30,000 to RM50,000.Take up a similar degree at a foreign branch campus and you are looking at an amount between RM40,000 to RM120,000 depending on the course your child is majoring in. You would be paying far more for an engineering degree than you would for a business degree.
You also have the American Degree Transfer Program (ADP) in universities like Taylor’s College and Inti College. The approximate total tuition fees for 6 complete semesters with 65 credits comes up to about RM50,000. And the fees for medicine programs will be higher. This degree can be completed locally, but for the years spent in The US to complete this course, you are looking at a cost of USD$15,000 to USD$40,000 per year.
However, if you are looking at sending your child abroad for tertiary education, you are looking at a totally different figure. A Business Degree at Monash University, Australia, for example could cost around $35,000AUD per year.
The brief cost comparison above should give you an idea of the amount you will be spending on your child from preschool level to university level. Granted, this cost would be a lot less if you go with public schools for your children’s primary and secondary schooling and opt for public Malaysian universities. Even so, with the rise of cost of living in Malaysia, it doesn’t make it any less easy.
How do you cope with your children's education fees? Share with us your ideas and suggestions.