Due to ongoing protests, HK folks eyeing Sabah schools
Published on: Friday, November 08, 2019
By: Saila Saidie

KOTA KINABALU: Hong Kong people are looking at enrolling their children in Sabah schools due to the ongoing protests in the semi-autonomous city.

State Education Director Dr Mistrine Radin (pic) said non-citizens can apply to study at public schools here, but it depends on the availability of places in the schools with the priority given to citizens.

“Public school fees are cheaper compared to private schools. Primary school fees are only RM120 whereas secondary school fees are RM240,” she said, adding that some private schools will charge a few hundred ringgit per month. 

However, there is an age difference between Hong Kong and Malaysia when entering high school. Primary Six students in Hong Kong are 11 years old while here children in Primary Six are aged 12. 

This also caused an issue when one of the private schools here could not accept Hong Kongers’ requests to enrol their children.

According to Mistrine, the Primary School Evaluation Test (UPSR) is not compulsory for foreign students if they want to enter secondary schools because enrolment depends on the age.

“There is no exception for Hong Kongers. They have to follow the rules if they want their children to study here,” she told Daily Express at her office.

Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School Principal, Tang Poh Mee, said they have been receiving calls from Hong Kongers hoping to send their children to study at the school.

“They want to move here because of the riots happening there. They prefer Sabah because it is a peaceful State and Chinese is used on the signages here. Sabah is also preferable than Kuala Lumpur because the traffic jams here are not as bad,” he said.

According to him, the school has been receiving many foreign students and Koreans used to make up the majority of such students.

“Currently, we have 70 foreign students, with 30 of them from mainland China. The rest are from Taiwan. Soon, we will be having students from Hong Kong,” he said. 

He said most foreigners send their children to Tsung Tsin when they do or start doing business in Sabah, while some just want to settle down in the State.

“Next year, we will have 52 classes with 120 teachers and there is enough space for everyone,” he said. 

Kian Kok Secondary School has also received calls from agents enquiring on availability of places in the school. 

The principal was, however, unable to be reached for comment yet. 


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