Choosing the Right School For Your child

28/09/2022 04:59 PM
Opinions on topical issues from thought leaders, columnists and editors.

By Donnie Adams

Every parent desires his or her children to be well educated, who can achieve their full potential. Choosing the right school for his or her children is one way of setting them up for success.

The question is what parents need to look for in schools to achieve that? With the heavy focus on academic achievement in our society, parents often seek high-performing schools and sekolah kluster kecemerlangan (cluster school of excellence) as their choice of schools. This has caused parents to register a false address, go the extra mile such as travelling far and paying extra for school transportation.

Schools that can support your child’s interests

However, there are a few ways that parents can adopt to make the process of choosing the right school more efficient.

Firstly, parents need to list down the qualities that you want the school to have, then check these qualities against the schools in your list.

The single most important criteria that parents should first consider is the school’s capability to support your child’s current interests. This criterion is the most important as the school should have an environment that supports your child’s interests so it can help them find a lifelong love of learning.

In doing this, parents need to choose a school that has the programmes and facilities to encourage their child to learn more about the topics that they are interested in. For example, if your child has an interest in science, it will be good to choose a school with science clubs where their child can further expand his or her interest in the subject. A child who loves arts will benefit from a school with a strong arts programme. The school will have both the capacity and capability to help your child explore arts and further hone their talents in the schooling years.

Schools with good academic reputation

Parents’ desire to choose a school with a good academic reputation is also an important factor. The school’s ability to perform well in examinations and the school having a reputation of winning awards in co-curricular activities is another factor worth considering.

A smart idea is to find information on the school’s alumni and their ability to get admissions into reputable institutions of higher education or even becoming a successful entrepreneur.

These are important indications of the school’s ability to produce students of the highest quality who are recognised and this indicates the quality of education at the school.

Programmes for Students with Special Educational Needs

Parents with a child impacted by a physical, cognitive, or behavioural condition could seek a school that has special education programmes. Finding a school that can properly respond to these needs and that offers strong support for special education programmes is a must.

Parents could seek schools that could help their children discover their potentials in order for them to face the future with confidence.

A school that teaches daily living skills such as eating, dressing and personal hygiene will be a good choice as these are the required skills your child needs to live an independent life.

A smart idea to seek schools that emphasise vocational skills, music, art and dance or even agricultural skills. These skills are important for the child to be part of the society and, most importantly, live within the community in the future.


Donnie Adams is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Malaya.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of BERNAMA)