Academic journal article International Education Studies

Homeschool in Malaysia: A Foresight Study

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Homeschool in Malaysia: A Foresight Study

Article excerpt


Homeschooling in Malaysia is a form of alternative education that emphasizes quality education based on moral values and beliefs while strengthening family bonds. This alternative form of education is being practiced by a growing number of families in Malaysia. As such, the Ministry of Education has given the green light for intending parents who wish to homeschool their children to do so with prior permission from the Ministry. Local parents homeschool their children for various reasons. This study was undertaken to foresight the trends of parents who homeschool their children in Malaysia. A mixed approach was used in this study. The data collected was analyzed by using impact uncertainty analysis to foresight homeschool in Malaysia. Data was collected from 30 parents who homeschool in Malaysia and 4 of them were also interviewed. Parent left mainstream schooling is mainly due to inadequate curriculum or syllabus, social issues among students, an adverse school environment and conflicting values in the mainstream's schools. The key drivers of homeschool in Malaysia are social issues among students and the education syllabus offered. This research work foresighted the drivers of homeschooling and provided possible scenarios of future of homeschool in Malaysia. Discussion and recommendations were provided.

Keywords: homeschool, trend of homeschool, foresight, driver of change

1. Introduction and Research Background

Homeschooling is an educational practice that is fully supervised by parents at regular schooling and it takes place on the same day as the public schools (Rajamony, 2008; Ray, 2000). The homeschool education is an alternative way of education in Malaysia. It is new, the knowledge and its existence as of today can be considered as uncommon. The choice of homeschool by the parents is due to the belief of that it is the parents' responsibility to determine the best form of education for their children (Ray, 2009). Thus, some Malaysian parents with such awareness and way of thinking choose to homeschool their children with diverse curriculum of their preference.

In pursuit of having Malaysia's education gain comprehensive knowledge of national education, the need to direct more attention in understanding the education of homeschooled children is as important as other styles of education that are present today. These studies generate a wealth of information applicable to broaden the educational settings. Scholars interested in cognitive development may gain important insights from unschooling families, who tenaciously pursue child-led learning (see Holt, 1981). The tailored education which emphasizes on the fulfillment of the child's pace of learning would be a benefit to other parents and the education system itself.

The practice in which the education of the child is clearly parent-controlled or parent-directed during the mainstream-school hours during the mainstream-school days of the week defines homeschool (Ray, 2000). It can be seen as a temporary or a permanent alternative to the education which is provided by the state or by private schooling. Parents are opting for home schooling in rising numbers in many countries (Ray, 2000). In Malaysia, the home schooling phenomena transited two phases. The first phase was prior to the year 2003 and the second phase was after 2003 when the Compulsory Education Act (2003) was implemented. Prior to 2003, the Minister of Education allowed parents to home school without restrictions (The Star, Malaysia, 2002). But since the year 2003 onwards when the Compulsory Education Act was implemented, home schooling was only allowed with prior permission from the Ministry of Education. According to Rajamony (2008), the actual number of homeschoolers in Malaysia is less than the number of the approved homeschoolers by the Ministry of Education.

Home schooling involves the use of a self-determined curriculum. The curriculum may be bought off the shelf or one the parent build it up by combining the best from available syllabuses. …

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