Compulsory Attendance Age
7–12 years old
Estimated Number of Homeschoolers
Homeschooling is a relatively new concept in Malaysia, but it is legal. Although the Education (Amendment) Act 2002 has made it mandatory for parents to enroll their children in a primary school for six years, the Minister of Education has the discretion to exempt any pupils from this compulsory education.
Unfortunately stringent regulations have developed that often prevent families from obtaining official approval. Parents can apply for exemption if their child is exceptionally gifted or physically disabled, if the available schools are not able to meet this need, or if the family members travel abroad frequently. Parents must ensure that the homeschooled children follow the national syllabus.
According to the Education Act of 1996 (Act 550), primary education is compulsory, but 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.
Wanting their children to learn at their own pace, a community of parents in Penang have opted to pull their children out of the public school system and homeschool instead.
15-year-old Eliza Tan shares how her own journey as a homeschooled student has enriched her as a person and as a Christian teen.