School Guide

Homeschooling: Is it legal?

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Apr 17, 2013

In Malaysia, there are many schooling options available. Besides public and private education, homeschooling is another alternative that has been gaining popularity. However, parents who chose to homeschool their children have a number of concerns, including the legality issue.


Primary education has been made compulsory after the government amended the Education Act 1996 (Act 550) in 2002. However, Malaysian students are not obligated to enrol in a secondary school after Standard 6.

Therefore, parents who wish to homeschool their child at the primary level have to get approval from the Ministry of Education.

Conditions for public schooling exemption:

  • Family members constantly travel overseas;
  • The child concerned is physically or intellectually disabled or exceptionally gifted and the schools cannot fulfil this need;
  • The parents must ensure that they use the National Curriculum as the main syllabus.

Other factors that would be take into consideration include:

  • The parents’ and child’s nationality and residence status;
  • Reasons for needing home schooling;
  • The parents’ ability to home school;
  • The suitability of the home-schooling plan devised by the parents, as well as
  • The curriculum, timetable the assessment system used.


An excerpt from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association:

Homeschooling is legal (in Malaysia). Although the Education Act of 1996 (Act 550) made primary education compulsory, several homeschool parents met with the Minister of Education to clarify the effect on homeschoolers. The Minister stated that fines for not sending children to school only apply to parents or guardians who neither send their children to school nor educate them in any way at home.

However, homeschoolers must apply for school exemption from the Ministry of Education, and stringent regulations have developed that often prevent families from obtaining official approval.