Johor van ridership drops as Singapore hikes school fees for foreigners

The Star reported that school fees in Singapore for permanent residents and international students will be increased annually from next year till 2020. — TODAY pic
The Star reported that school fees in Singapore for permanent residents and international students will be increased annually from next year till 2020. — TODAY pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 ― School van providers said the number of students travelling between Johor and Singapore has dropped by 15 per cent in recent years, according to a report.

Local daily The Star reported Superman School Van as saying that more than 400 students used to be ferried on 26 buses daily, but the number has dropped by about 15 per cent in the last few years.

Quek Kim Chuah, who runs Doraeman school van, was quoted saying that more than 100 students from various parts of Johor Baru used to be ferried to Singapore, but the figure has dropped to about 90 students now.

“The main reason parents stopped sending their children to school in Singapore is the high exchange rate and with the republic reviewing the school fees every two years, they are finding it difficult to cope financially,” he was quoted saying.

The Star reported that school fees in Singapore for permanent residents and international students will be increased annually from next year till 2020.

Monthly primary school fees for international students from Asean will rise from RM1,215 this year to RM1,293 in 2018 and to RM1,449 in 2020. Monthly fees in secondary school for international students from Asean will increase from RM1,870 this year to RM2,056 in 2018 and to RM2,430 in 2020.

Monthly pre-university school fees will also see an increase for international students from Asean from RM2,679 this year to RM2,866 next year and to RM3,240 in 2020.

The Johor government said the state is now offering private and international education so that Malaysians do not need to send their children across the Causeway.

“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,” Johor state health environment, education and information committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat told The Star.

“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 added.

EduCity reportedly offers various courses from medicine to information, communication and technology.

Austin Heights Education Sdn Bhd development director Chong Khai Siang told The Star that about 65 per cent of 970 students enrolled at Austin Heights Private and International School, Mount Austin, in Johor Baru are locals.

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