the value of a private school

Almost every Friday I take the opportunity of the long lunch break to go out and have lunch outside of the office vicinity. Last Friday I went out with Kak Rosmah and Liza. We headed to Kampung Melayu Subang as Liza wanted to scout for a new sofa-bed and Kak Rosmah lives around there so she’s familiar with the whereabouts.

I have no idea that there are so many stores around the area selling furnitures at warehouse prices. On the top of that, they also offer tremendous discounts, a sign that business may not be going too well for them now. There’s also a huge Fella Design branch, almost as big as Ikea, but I have no clue whether it’s actually a store or just a warehouse.

On our way back Kak Rosmah showed us her children’s school. To my surprise, the so-called school is actually an office space above a shop lot! Then only she told me that she sends her kids to a private school – Sekolah Integrasi Qistina. The cost is about RM300 per kid per month, so in a year she’ll have to spend about RM4,000 per kid and she has 3 school-going kids.

That’s a lot of money. Mind you she is a graded staff, not even an executive. Her family lives in a small low-cost flat. She and her husband sacrifice other luxuries in life to invest into their children’s education and send their kids to this private school. If they are willing to go such length, there must be something really good about the school, right? Here’s what I found out:

1) Each class has only a few students i.e. the Standard 6 class has only 3 students. That allows the teacher to monitor each student’s progress really closely.

2) They do follow the usual academic syllabus. The kids do have to sit for government exams (i.e. UPSR).

3) Their value-add is in Islamic education. They teach the kids how to perform solat, recite doa and other essential knowledge for Muslims. Kak Rosmah is exceptionally happy she doesn’t have to worry about teaching her kids that bit of life lessons, those are covered by the teachers. In fact, she told me her kids now know more doas that she does.

4) This the part that I like the most – the kids are supervised the entire time from the moment their parents drop them off in the morning until the time their parents pick them up in the evening after work. Yes, I did say after work. What do the kids do the entire day? They have their academic class from morning till afternoon. Then they have their lunch in school. After that they continue with KAFA class until about 4.30pm, at which the school ends. The teachers then transport them to a nursery where they are be supervised by a caretaker until their parents come and pick them up. This means that there’s no way your kids will end up at some video arcade or loitering at malls after school. There’s also no chance for them to get kidnapped by bad people while walking home alone from school. Food is taken care of, mummies need not worry about their kids burning the entire house trying to reheat yesterday’s food for lunch. Yes, the costs for food, transportation and nursery have been included in the fees. I think it’s a small price to pay for you children’s safety and your own peace of mind.

I’m really impressed with the school’s concept. However, it’s only for primary school kids. The school does have links with Sekolah Integrasi As-Syakirin (famous among its kind) in Shah Alam, which offers secondary school education. Parents can also opt to register their kids only for the afternoon bit (i.e. KAFA and nursery).

For the price the parents are paying, what the school offers now is already great. I do hope in the future they will introduce more value-added activities such as swimming, language, art etc., those will be good for the kids to learn. Of course that will hike-up the price, but parents can always opt out of the additions if they aren’t willing to pay.

Hmm.. maybe I should ask I my stay-at-home mum to open a private school ;-)


eiseai said...

we are inclined to send our boys to this kind of school too. have looked around the area. there's another one, qids. i think they have a pretty big campur in putrajaya ke cyberjaya ke somewhere...cant remember where. i looked up a long time ago. other alternative is one (also close by your office) apiit smart school.

dieya said...

owh yea.. apiit smart school, i saw the signboard somewhere near to the roundabout. didn't know they have the full-day school concept. qids - that's where affan sends his kids kan?