Public School Vs Private School Vs Home School (Part 1 Of 2)

There’s been a lot of recent discussions about private schools. More and more parents have been sending their children to private schools! “Should I let my child study in a private school? Will my child lose out if he or she remains in public school? Is this affordable? What new opportunities can my child gain from this?”

Many parents face a dilemma when it comes to choosing schools. Making a decision on what school system your child should attend can be tricky at times. Every loving parent will want their children to have good education… and thus face the precarious dilemma on choosing schools.

Oxford University (school)
All parents will want their children to have the best education, don’t they?
Filepic: Oxford University
Source: Image by Delfi De La Rua from Unsplash

“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”

Abraham lincoln, 16th president of the united states

What’s The Difference Between The Different School System?

Is a private school more beneficial? Or a public school less costly? When will my child be able to graduate, coming from a private school? Here’s a little bit about each schooling system…

1. Public School

Also known as government schools, public schools operates on public funds, hence the “public” part of the name. Public schools start from preschool/kindergarten (ages three or four to six), then primary school (ages seven to twelve). It then moves on to secondary school (ages thirteen to seventeen). And lastly, ends at post-secondary (age eighteen), which is optional. Here in Malaysia, the Ministry of Education sets the curriculum for all public schools. Every country has a different curriculum, as set by its own national or state authorities.

Public school building
Public schools are built by government funds.
Source: Image ID 120-19 from Pixabay

Most public schools have extracurricular activities, such as enrichment classes, music, arts, or sports. The government allocates the land for schools, hence they’re usually large in size. The only payment applicable in public schools are purchase of books and co-curricular activities. Public funds cover for everything else. However, the standards of public schools have lowered over the years. And the pedagogy (way of teaching or education) in some countries keeps changing, and this results in dissatisfied parents.

2. Private School

Private schools, or independent schools nowadays are receiving more and more students. A growing numbers of parents are feeling dissatisfied with the deteriorating education standards of public schools. It can range from primary to post-secondary. A private school is largely different from the other schooling systems mainly because it is not government or state funded. Instead, they operate completely on students’ fees. This makes private schools more expensive.

Private school building
Private schools vary in size depending upon their capacity and intake, as they are fully funded by student fees.
Source: Image by ID 12019 from Pixabay

However, since private schools are not based on government curriculum, they are free to create their own curriculum. It can be based on their own standards, so they can raise it higher. This results in an enriched education experience, as private schools provide more challenges and more extracurricular activities. Private schools encourage parental involvement, as many schools believe that education begins from home. They have dedicated teachers and ample resources. Private schools focus on students’ character building, which is often lacking in public schools.

3. Home School

A home school is lesser known by parents since there are fewer home schools in the market. In a nutshell, a home school is basically studying at home based on your own curriculum. Although home schools require more parental involvement, it has its benefits.

Home schooling boy studying
Home schools are relatively unknown, as every home school is different.
Source: Image by White77 from Pixabay

As long as the state education board approves, you can write and personalise your curriculum. You can easily raise the standard of the education higher. The curriculum allows you to personalise the instruction for the individual student. With the self-written curriculum, the education your child receives tends to meet his or her needs better than public schools. They also include character building too. After all, character building starts from the home.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

nelson mandela, 1st president of south africa

Why The Dilemma?

I’m currently a student in a private school. I used to study in SJK(C) Chee Wen (a public school) till I was in Standard (Primary) Five. That was when my dad decided to transfer me to a private school. Why did he, as a parent, transfer me to a private school?

Picture of my father with little me sleeping on his back
An old picture…

So, I approached my dad to interview… (*cough*)… ask him why he chose to transfer me to another school. Here are some facts based on a parent’s experience and opinion:

My Father’s Thoughts On Education

My father wanted me to learn the basics of Mandarin (we are Chinese after all). So he sent me to a Chinese public school. However, my parents soon realised that public schools taught limited life skills. There was no environment to promote public speaking and presentation skills. My father wanted me to have exposure to another curriculum that was more robust. He wanted a learning environment that’s more inclusive and diverse, as well as having a lower teacher-student ratio. When I was in Standard (Primary) Four, I had already developed a good grasp in Mandarin so he transferred me to a private school.

My father believed private schooling would prepare me better for tertiary education. His reason is private schools work more towards tertiary preparation than public schools. According to him, private schools provide better exposure as they are based on a global curriculum. Private schools have effective pedagogy in general, and students display better self-confidence in social settings.

Final Thoughts…

“Legacies and conventional pedagogy tie down the Malaysian public education. Politics of the day also cast its influence on it too, hence the lack of consistency and continuity.”

Philip ling, Father of the writer

In the end, he chose private education for me, because they emphasise not only academic results. They also emphasise on character building, which is crucial for students to thrive in tomorrow’s world. And that is the opinion and experience of a parent. However, every parent’s point-of-view is different, so you must base your decision on what you have researched. You shouldn’t decide which school to send your child to entirely on the opinions or experiences of others.

I started reading much younger than my peers. Everybody knows reading is fundamental to getting a good education. Want to know how you can also develop this healthy habit? Read this article to find out more about the reading habit!

So Is One School System Better Than The Other?

Is private schools really better than public schools? What are the different costs? Will it be better for my child? If you want to know more, then stay tuned for Part 2!

Hazel LING

About Hazel LING

Friendly, sociable, enthusiastic, full of energy, and a total whiz with words. Hazel is definitely ahead of the rest of her peers when it comes to reading and writing.

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