School Guide

The Differences Between Public Schools and Private Schools

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Apr 10, 2018, 02:40 AM

The public vs private school debate can go on for eternity. Both institutions  are significant in their respective fields. Both types of institutes have much to nurture, and continue to successfully produce future champions of Malaysia. Many feel that private schools are better than public schools, but is that true?

The main difference between public schools and private schools stems from their funding and administration. As the names imply, public schools are administered and funded by the local, state or national government whereas private schools are funded wholly or partly by students’ tuition and administered by a private body.

To a large extent, private schools are independent from the interference of the public. Based on these two major differences, there are also other significant differences that can be noticed between public schools and private schools.

What is a public school?

Image via Malay Mail Online

Public schools are primary or secondary schools mandated for or offered to all children without charge. They are funded and controlled by the local, state or national government. Since they are supported by the government, they are wholly or partly funded by taxation.

As public schools are controlled by the government, the curriculum is decided at state or national levels—that is, all public schools follow the same curriculum.

Admissions and testing are also managed by the government. Admission to public schools is determined by the address of the student. The schools are obliged to take in students who belong to their respective geographical zone.

Although technology and other facilities vary according to schools, public schools generally have fewer facilities than private schools.

Public schools also have a greater number of students than private school students; the number of students in a class may sometimes be drastically high due to lack of facilities.

However, it is important to note that public schools always hire highly qualified teachers. Teachers must meet all state-mandated requirements and be proficient in their subject to work in a public school.

What is a private school?

Image via Tenby Schools Malaysia

A private school is neither funded nor administered by the government. It is controlled by a private body and funded partially or wholly by students’ tuition. The fees are usually higher in private schools. At the same time, private schools typically have better facilities and up-to-date technology compared with public schools. Although private schools follow the same curriculum as decided by the government, the method of delivery varies in that it is decided by the school board.

Related: Benefits of a Holistic Co-Curricular Programme

Related: Curriculum Types in International Schools In KL & Selangor

See also: Understanding the Types of Curriculum

Apart from the curriculum programme, the school administrators also decide the fees and admission. The school has the authority to decide whether a student meets the requirements for admission or not.

See also: Applying to International and Private Schools

  Similar to the recruitment of the students, the school administrators also get to decide the criteria for the recruitment of the teachers. As the requirements of the recruitment vary greatly, a teacher in a private school may not be qualified to be a teacher in a public school, hence making the process highly meticulous and tedious.

Similar to the examples given above, the size of a classroom in a private school is also smaller than that of a public school. This is mainly due to the availability of resources and facilities.

See also: 15 Private Schools in Selangor & Kuala Lumpur

An overview of the differences between a public school and private school

Public school
Private school
Primary or secondary school funded and controlled by the local, state or national government
Primary or secondary school not administered by the government
Funding and control
Funded by taxes and controlled by the government
Funded by students’ tuition and administered by a private body
is set at the national level
Shares the same curriculum as government schools but differs in the method of delivery
Number of students
More students
Fewer students
Fewer facilities and technology
More facilities and advanced technology
Recruits teachers who meet state-mandated requirements
Independent criteria for recruiting teachers
Class size

See also: 5 Reasons to Choose Private Schools

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