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Choosing the Right Path for International Education

Choosing the right school for your child is not an easy decision, but a critical one with many factors parents will need to consider. With international schools in Malaysia gaining popularity, studies show that international schools remain the choice of many parents searching for valuable education for their children. 
During a panel session held by Sunway International School (SIS) – SIS Coffee Talk, Dr Cheng Mien Wee, the Executive Director of SIS and Director of Pre-University Studies at Sunway College, spoke of changes to the education landscape that the ‘new normal’ is bringing. 
She elaborated, “At SIS, our raft of responses included boosting technological resources alongside equipping our teachers and students for effective online teaching and learning. SIS had already embraced educational technologies in broad ways and employed Google classroom approaches for many years prior.” 
“We worked to create a holistically balanced eco-system for learning so that students can learn ‘anytime and anywhere’ and ensure the learning sessions are as personal and effective for them as possible. It was especially challenging with younger students, and teachers constantly reviewed and made provisions for students’ personal and mental wellbeing as well,” shared Dr Cheng. 
Apart from focusing on academic results, panellist Elizabeth Wong, Founder of the Malaysian International Schools Parents Support Group (MISPSG), noticed that parents emphasised on extra-curricular programmes and opportunities for their children to learn foreign languages. 
“Parents go through a lengthy process to search for the right international school, and their selection criteria have evolved to include extra-curricular activities, teachers’ professional accreditation, and the school’s brand or reputation and not focus mainly on the school’s academic results alone,” said Wong. 

Additionally, Heath Kondro, Principal of SIS at Sunway City Campus in Kuala Lumpur noted that parents are increasingly interested in opportunities for their children to develop interpersonal skills, develop as independent learners and learn beyond the classroom. 
“At SIS, we offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and Canada’s Ontario Secondary School Diploma qualifications. The Canadian system focuses on the ‘6Cs’ - communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, character building, and citizenship. These attributes enable students to transition successfully from school into tertiary studies and prepare them to be lifelong learners,” adds Kondro. 
In recent years, Kondro observed a growing interest among students and parents in the Canadian and IB curricula. These qualifications prepare students to be independent and resourceful researchers and develop them as socially responsible individuals through requirements for community service.
“The majority of SIS teachers are Canadians with teaching credentials from the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), which means they hold at least two degrees, including one in education,” shared Kondro. 
The Coffee Talk speakers also addressed participants’ questions during the session. When asked about quality assurance and regulation of international schools and their programmes, Dr Cheng explained that SIS is the only school in Malaysia to be licensed and inspected by the Ministry of Education in Ontario, Canada, and regulated by the Malaysian Ministry of Education. Similar stringent international and academic oversight also applies to the IB diploma programme at SIS. 
SIS Sunway City KL campus is set to commence operations at its new seven-acre GreenRE Platinum-certified campus in January 2023. SIS’s purpose-built school is open for registration from kindergarten to pre-university levels. 

Parents who are interested to enrol their children in the SIS’s new campus will enjoy inaugural bursaries by key contributors of RM15,000 for Elementary School grades and RM3,000 for Secondary School grades when they enrol their children for the 2023 school year. Students enrolling this year will benefit from the Special Enrolment Package with 50% waivers on application and enrolment fees and school deposits.
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