JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Johor has stepped up in accommodating the demand for private or international education in the state and there is no need for Malaysian children to cross into Singapore daily for the purpose.
State Health, Environment, Education and Information Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said while parents were free to enrol their children in the school of their choice, it was not necessary for them to cross the border for it.
"Johor has more than enough public, private or international schools that offer quality education at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
"We have a total of 16 international schools offering primary and secondary education throughout the state, most of which are located in the Iskandar Malaysia region," he said in an interview.
Parents, he said, can pick from a wide range of international syllabus options for their children.
"After the primary and secondary levels, students can opt to pursue their tertiary education at one of the nine top-notched institutions at EduCity, located in the heart of Iskandar Malaysia," he said.
The thriving education hub offers a wide range of courses in various fields, from medicine to information, communication and technology, he added.
Among the learning institutions are University of Reading Malaysia, Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology, Raffles University Iskandar and University of Southampton Malaysia Campus.
Others are Marlborough College Malaysia, Management Development Institute of Singapore, Multimedia University and Raffles American School.
Austin Heights Education Sdn Bhd development director Chong Khai Siang said the number of students going to Singapore to study has declined, mainly because of the unfavourable currency factor.
He said the weak ringgit made it less affordable for parents to send their children to attend school in the Republic as the education levy for foreign students are revised once every two years.
"Another one of the parents' concerns is that their children tend to seek employment in Singapore and live there after finishing their studies," he said.
Chong said about 65 per cent of the students were locals (out of the some 970 students) enrolled at Austin Heights Private and International School, Mount Austin, here - the largest international school in town.
"We also have a small number of Singaporeans who study at our school as they could not enrol in international schools on the island," he said, adding that the school has students of 27 nationalities.
He said the international school offered full-fledged preschool syllabus to secondary school International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) curriculum recognised by the University of Cambridge.