Pre-school education is considered optional in Malaysia. The number of registered private pre-schools slightly outweighs that of the government pre-schools, accounting for 54.8% of all kindergartens in Malaysia. In Penang, private kindergartens make up 73.2% of the state’s kindergartens, with 70.0% of total pupils attending private kindergartens, compared to the national percentage of 60.5%.1
The student-teacher ratio is often used to measure a teacher’s workload and allocation of resources. While Malaysia has an overall student-teacher ratio of 11.6 in primary schools, Penang recorded a slightly higher ratio of 12.3 (Table 1). This stands at a reasonably healthy level, as developed countries such as the US and Singapore recorded higher ratios at 14.5 and 15.5 respectively.2
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