What should parents look for when choosing an International School in Malaysia?

June 15, 2017

In the second part of the interview with Peninsula International School Australia’s principal, Clive Rogers discusses holistic education, educating children in the digital age and lastly, his advice to parents when choosing an international education in Malaysia.  

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Clive Rogers is an experienced and motivated international school leader and has been in the field of education for almost 4 decades

Why is a holistic approach to education crucial to a child’s development?

Many educational institutions use the term ‘holistic education’ without realising what it encompasses. A holistic education is more than just doing sports one day and academics the next. It is about pastoral care, placing equal importance to art subjects as well as the sciences and making connections with schools in various parts of the world for global connections.

A holistic education means that you teach the whole child, and that is what we do at Peninsula International School Australia. In a year, a child spends more than thirty hours a week in a school. That is why it is crucial for schools to provide a holistic education to prepare them for life beyond school and to prepare them as global citizens.

At Peninsula International School Australia, we understand the importance of global preparation of students in this golden era because children are exposed to many facets of the community and they are also exposed to a lot more technology and information. It is then, the school’s responsibility to equip students with the capabilities to make the right decisions with the information they are bombarded with.

Read: With an Outstanding Career, This Principal is Returning to Malaysia to Lead a Renowned International School 

Educating Children in the Digital Age

 There is a saying, “we should teach the way children learn, children shouldn’t learn the way the teachers teach”. In the dynamics of a classroom, there must be a balance between high-quality teaching and the use of resources in the classroom that will support and facilitate the way students learn. At our school, all learning styles are taken into consideration, and activities and learning are prepared specially to cater to their needs. Some children learn when they pick up something and touch, so varied resources are valuable for the student to understand what is being taught. It is not about having the latest technology in the classroom, what is important is how it is utilised to the student’s best interests in a global world.

Another thing that I often hear from employers is, youngsters are not equipped with the right skills and initiative. Here at Peninsula, we practice an enquiry, application driven curriculum. This allows children to think and explore every aspect of life and it must be done in school, the place children spend the most time. Another important aspect that is essential to a student’s growth is teachers. Teachers who are great communicators, effective in their delivery and highly knowledgeable can make a vast difference to a student’s learning. It is my duty as a principal, to ensure students enrolled at Peninsula get the best teachers.

Advice to parents when choosing an education path

Choosing an international education or any kind of education is a very personal matter. My advice to parents would be to always allow children to have a say in the decision-making because essentially, their success is based on their happiness in school. I think more parents are opting for international schools because there is a belief that the standards are higher and there is more scope for their children to be diverse and to reach better heights in terms of tertiary education and global opportunities. In international schools, students are exposed to global thinking, to different cultures and languages and of course, technology can be better utilised in education outcomes in many international schools.

When selecting an international school, please have in mind these three important questions; ‘where do you want your child to end up?’, ‘what is that you want them to be?’ and ‘where do you want them to be?’. The answers to these questions can be found in the school’s values and culture.

As a parent, reflect on your own journey; do you want something different for your child? An opportunity you never had? And international schools offer just that, an opportunity for a child to be the best that they can be. I cannot tell you which international school is the best, that is a personal preference. But what I can tell you is that at Peninsula International School, Australia, everything is child-centered; the decisions I make would be made as an international educator and as a parent, because I am involved at both levels. I too, want the best for my son, who will also be a student at the Peninsula International School.