Education in Malaysia
Children :: School Life

88.7% (of those age 15 and above) can read and write (2000 census).

Preschool - up to 3 years
Primary school - 6 years
Lower secondary - 3 years
Upper secondary (academic or vocational) - 2 years
Pre-university - 1 or 2 years
Post-secondary (excluding higher education)

Primary education consists of national schools or national-type schools.
  • National schools: Bahasa Melayu (pronounced bah-HAH-sah MUH-lah-yoo) is the language of instruction and English is taught as a second language.

  • National-type schools: Chinese and Tamil primary schools.
Secondary education consists of (1) academic schools, (2) technical and vocational schools and (3) madrasahs (pronounced mah-DRAH-sahs) i.e., religious national schools which offer instruction based on the Islamic religion.

In his Malaysian Budget 2008 speech, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi announced that Malaysia will be providing free education and textbooks for all students in primary and secondary schools.