Looking back, as parents who had three children who were educated in national schools, we were lucky primary and secondary school education was cheap then.
Now, even my son, who has a 2-year old son, has to think of private or even international school, and we are unable to say, 'just let him go to any local national school like what you did before'. Why?
Being eldest, he started school in 1985, while our youngest daughter left school in 2003. In other words, that was a period of 18 years, stretching from 29 to 11 years ago. In terms of declining standards in school education, much water has flowed under the bridge.
The passing marks and qualifying marks for distinctions of SRP and SPM had been lowered to such an extent that they do not mean the same anymore. This is evident in those who scored distinction in say, English, but cannot string a sentence properly.
Then because of lower entry requirements for entry into tertiary institutions of learning and easier graduation, many graduates could not find suitable employment because of language deficiency, especially in English, which is very important in business and international trade, especially with online communication in real time.
Some people believe that the easing of quota for local students in international schools is actually an admission of failure in our national educational system. It is easier to let the parents decide (pay for it themselves) if they want quality education, because it would be almost impossible to lift the standard of education in schools for the whole of Malaysia!
From The Ant Daily: Skyrocketing price of education
'International schools in Malaysia have always been the domain of expatriates who want a certain standard of education for their children, and locals who want the same for their children have accepted that they have to pay through their noses for that opportunity. '
'Since 2006, such schools were allowed to take in locals not exceeding 40% of total enrolment. But in May 2012, the quota was removed and these schools can now take in as many locals as they can admit. '
'Tuition fees for a high school student at an international school this year ranges from RM6,000 (Kelantan International School) to RM98,839 (Mon’t Kiara International School) per annum.
There are also other payments, such as application, admission fees, in addition to refundable and non-refundable deposits and field trips, camps, equipment and extracurricular activities, which can add up from a few thousand to tens of thousands of ringgit.'
- See more at: http://www.theantdaily.com/Main/Skyrocketing-price-of-education#sthash.SnuwS2Lg.dpuf