Last updated Wednesday, 24 October, 2018 11:40:27 PM

Secondary Schools
in Tawau Division, Malaysia



Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kabota

Government's Secondary Schools in Tawau






















Km 67 Jalan Merotai-Kalabakan


2016-01-16 SAT 9:44

Address: Km 67 Jalan Merotai-Tawau, Tawau, Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia
Phone:+60 89-927 017


There are 16 Government Secondary Schools in Tawau.


Secondary Schools in Malaysia

After primary schooling, pupils will move on to secondary schooling. However, those from ethnic primary schools who wish to enter national schools will undergo a year in a remove class / remove form (kelas peralihan / tingkatan peralihan).

Secondary schooling takes 5 years altogether.

Similar to primary schools, secondary schools can usually be recognized by the prefixes in their names, such as :

SMK Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan
SMJK Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan
SMJK(C) Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina
SMJK(T) Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil
SMB Sekolah Menengah Bantuan
SMA Sekolah Menengah Agama.

Lahad Datu District    


P.S. 60246, 91112 Lahad Datu



P.S. 60441, 91114 Lahad Datu



P.S. 60254, 91112 Lahad Datu



Beg Kunci 18, 91108 Lahad Datu



P.S. 61546, 91123 Lahad Datu


P.S. 60246, 91112 Lahad Datu



P.S. 61054, 91119 Lahad Datu



P.S. 60715, 91108 Lahad Datu



P.S. 60847, 91117 Lahad Datu



P.S. 60173, 9111 Lahad Datu


Semporna District    


P.S. 114, 91308 Semporna



P.S. 291, 91309 Semporna




W.D.T. 25, 91309 Semporna



W.D.T. 72, 91309 Semporna


P.S. 408, 91308 Semporna



P.S. 409, 91308 Semporna


Kunak District    

SMU Kunak



P.S. 30, 91207 Kunak



P.S. 124, 91207 Kunak



Cluster school are schools identified as being excellent in its cluster from the aspects of school administration and student achievement.

One of the 6 core strategies in the National Education Blueprint is to foster a culture of excellence in educational institutions within the Malaysian education system by forming "Cluster schools of excellence" which selection criteria is based on specific fields like academic, co-curricular and sports achievements.

These schools can be emulated by other schools in the same cluster and outside the cluster.

1- Kota Kinabalu High School (亞庇中學)
2- Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (沙巴崇正中學)
3- Sabah Science Secondary School
Kuala Lumpur
Methodist Boys' School
St. John's Institution
Technical Institute Kuala Lumpur
Victoria Institution
SMK Putrajaya Presint 8 (1)
Johor English College Johore Bahru
Keat Hwa Secondary School (吉华国民型卓越华文中学)
Sin Min Secondary School (新民国民型华文中学)
Sekolah Menengah Teknik Alor Setar
SMK Ibrahim
SMK (A) Sharifah Rodziah
Malacca High School
Sekolah Menengah Sains Muzaffar Syah
Negeri Sembilan
King George V School
SM Teknik Tuanku Ja'afar
Sekolah Datuk Abdul Razak
Penang Free School
SMK Bukit Jambul
St. George's Girl School
SMK (A) Al Mashoor Lelaki
Jit Sin High School
Chung Ling High School Penang
Ave Maria Convent Ipoh
Malay College Kuala Kangsar
SMK Chukai
SMK Mak Lagam
SMK Bukit Mentok
SMK Sultan Ismail
SMK Seri Iman
SMK Seri Geliga II
SMK Bandar Puchong Utama
Catholic High School (公教国民型华文中学)
SMK Damansara Utama
SMK (P) Sri Aman
SMK Subang Utama
Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor
SMK Damansara Jaya
Pahang Sultan Abu Bakar School

SMK TawauSMK Abaka

Secondary Schools in Tawau Division, Malaysia









Owned by the Anglican Diocese of Sabah
Managed by the Board of Directors in St. Patrick's Anglican Church, Tawau.
Established in 2009


Managed by Tawau Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
Established in 1964


"In an increasingly complex world, sometimes old questions require new answers"


Learning without schooling in Malaysia
Homeschool & Further Education


Form 1 - Form 5
Age 13-17 years)

Upon completion of 6 years primary school education, Malaysian students are automatically promoted to secondary schools for another five years. (3 years lower secondary and 2 years of upper secondary education)
The education in public secondary schools is free but not mandatory.

The medium of instruction in secondary schools is Bahasa Malaysia while English is taught as a second language in all schools. These two subjects are core subjects and compulsory for all.

Chinese, Tamil and Arabic (communication) are offered as additional subjects. Foreign languages such as French and other indigenous languages are also being introduced. English is being used as the medium of instruction for Science and Mathematics subjects.

The main provider of secondary education is the National Secondary
Schools (SMK). This category of schools is further divided into three types:
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3
Academic secondary schools
Technical secondary schools which offer three streams i.e.

1) Technical education

2) Vocational education, and

3) Skills training
Secondary schools of other descriptions as determined by the
Ministry, such as

1) National Religious Secondary Schools

2) Special Education Schools



SPM & STPM (“O” & “A” Levels) SPM Results

Profession 1


Profession 2


Profession 3


Profession 4


Profession 5


Profession 6


Farmers, technicians, pilots, automobile repair, and civil engineers, veterinarians, network engineers, photographers, television.
Mechanical engineers, mathematicians, doctors, dentists, economists, computer programmers, scientists, psychologists. Editor, artist, writers, musicians, art designers, directors, actors, dancers. Teachers, counselors, psychotherapists, social workers, nurses, lecturers, customer service, and tour guides. Lawyers, business managers, brokers, public relations and publicity officers, negotiators, salesmen, businessmen, politicians, parliamentarians. Accountants, bank clerk, administrative assistant, inspector, computer operators, librarians, secretaries, data administrator.
Personality characteristics: stability, obedience, patience, honest, straightforward, practical, a reticent, self-confidence and determination. Personality traits: love the analysis and reasoning, rational, independent, curious, good observation, passive, precise, cautious, conservative and modest. Personality traits: creative, imagination-rich, idealistic, beautiful, independent, with hing, passion, impulse, intuition, and emotional. Personality characteristics: willing cooperation, caring, easy to get along with, helpful, friendly, good communication, understanding. Personality traits: an adventurous spirit, the control of the heart strong, outgoing, energetic, ambitious, optimistic, confident, good at social, has ambitions. Personality characteristics: conservative, obedient, orderly, patient, prudent, and comply with the rules, integrity, attention to detail.
Enjoy: outdoor work, operating machinery, repair machines, exercise, dynamic life, practical action Likes: learning, pursuit of knowledge, argumentative, seeking answers, no rules, consider the abstract Enjoy: free, creative work to their own artistic expression, imagination, the pursuit of beauty. Enjoy: team work, come into contact with people's activities, social activities, assist people, collective communicate. Enjoy: leadership, status and power, the impact of others, management, ownership and financial resources to own their own businesses. Enjoy: stable life, to be led, details and figures, clerical job information, job instructions clear.
Dislike: social activities, verbal expression, and the job contact person. Dislike: leadership, competitiveness and the people, repetitive activities, rules, and people work together. Dislike: the rules and regulations, rigid life, physical job. Dislike: physical work, technical work, operational tools to compete.
Dislike: research work, fine work, the leadership of people.
Dislike: Irrigular work, creative work, ambiguous instructions, arts activities.

Useful Websites Bahasa Malaysia SPM – About SPM Bahasa Malay papers and past-year questions.
Portal Pendidikan Bestari Utusan – Notes and exercises for most subjects examined in UPSR, PMR, SPM and STPM examinations.
Wikipedia online encyclopedia. Resourceful articles on education in Malaysia, SPM, STPM and A-Level.

SPM Subject Grade Academic Points
1A 18
2A 16
3B 14
4B 12
5C 10
6C 8
7D 6
8E 4
9G 0

Marks requirement for a course in Public Universities

The mark  is calculated based on a merit system. BPKP admit SPM qualification holders into universities based on a calculation as following

1) 90% on academic marks &
2) 10% on co-curriculum marks.

A) The academic marks is calculated based on the total marks of eight subjects, that is, five main subjects (90 marks) and the other three best subjects (30 marks).

B) The co-curriculum marks (the remaining 10%) are based on co-curricular activities. Two out of four best areas of co-curricular activities, that is, Sports / Games, Uniformed Teams, Clubs / Associations and the NS (National Service) Programme are calculated. Total marks would be 10.

Marks requirement from
SPM holders
for a course in
Public Universities


Academic marks (90%) will be calculated based on the total marks of eight subjects, that is:

1) five main subjects (90 marks) and
2) three other best subjects (30 marks).

90 Marks
from 5 Main SPM Subjects

Science Stream
Arts Stream
1)  Mathematics
2)  Add. Math.
3)  Physics
4)  Chemistry
5)  Biology or one of the following subjects:
Civil Engineering Studies, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Studies, Mechanical Engineering Studies, Invention, Engineering Drawing, Home Economics, Agricultural Science, Information Technology, Principles of Accounting, Commerce and Basic Economics.
1) B. Malaysia
2) Mathematics
3) Science
4) History
5) Islamic Studies or one of the following subjects:
Moral studies, Al-Quran and As-Sunnah Studies / Syariah Islamic Studies.

30 Marks
from 3 other Subjects

Co-curriculum marks (10%) are based on average of 2 best co-curricular activities.

Total marks is 10.

The four acceptable components of co-curricular activities are

1) Sports / Games,
2) Uniform Team,
3) Clubs / Association and the
4) National Service Programme.

A Subject Grade Value is given to the position held and the level of involvement by the student. The highest mark for each activity is 10.


Not all the 20 public universities in Malaysia have programmes for SPM School Leavers.

1- Universities : UIAM, USIM. UPM. VPNM (see chart below) offers university foundation studies / matriculation programmes for SPM qualification holders preparing them to enter first year of Bachelor's degree programmes.

2- Matriculation Colleges : Matriculation Division of the Ministry of Education also provide pro-university programmes or matriculation programmes are offers through the Matriculation Colleges set up by the Ministry of Education. All applications to pursue the Ministry of Education's matriculation programmes need to be submitted directly to the Matriculation Division

Universities programmes for SPM holders are of two levels : 1) Diploma level courses and 2) Degree Foundation courses:


SPM Qualification Holders are of 3 Categories in further education interest :

1 2 3
High Qualification Holders
who want to advance profession study in universities
Qualification Holders
who want to have a Certificate or Diploma in industrial training
Holders who want to enter the job market
see chart below click for more information  

in Malaysia and abroad



Qualification Holders
who want to advance study in universities


Pro-university / Matriculation programmes before going to a public university




Diploma Level Programmes Degree Foundation Course & Programmes

For all Malaysian

• UiTM
• UTeM
• UniMAP

Diploma Courses are available from above 10 Government Public Universities.

For Bumiputra For all Malaysian
• UM - Program Asasi Sains for Bumiputra candidates

• UIAM - Program Asasi for Bumiputra candidates

• UiTM - Program Asasi and Program Pra ljazah TESL for Bumiputra candidates


• UM - Asasi Pengajian Islam for all Malaysians

• UPM - Asasi Sains Pertanian for all Malaysians

• USIM - Program Tamhidi  for all Malaysians

• UPNM - Program Asasi for oil Malaysians

General Requirements of SPM holders applying for courses in the 4 Public Universities:

1)  Applicants must be Malaysian citizens
2)  Possess SPM qualifications or its equivalent with a minimum of five credits including Bahasa Malaysia (A credit for Bahasa Malaysia in the July paper is acceptable)

Specific Requirements of the SPM holders :
1) Applicants must fulfill the minimum requirement for each of the programme
2) The following programmes are for Bumiputra candidates:
• All 'Asasi' foundation programmes at UIAM
• All 'Asasi Sains' foundation programmes at UM
• All study programmes at UiTM

3) The following programmes are opened to all Malaysian SPM holders:
• All Diploma programmes from UPM, UTM, UTHM, UMT, UTeM, UMP, UniMAP and UDM
• All 'Asasi Pengajian Islam' foundation programmes at Universiti Malaysia
• All 'Tamhidi' foundation programmes at USIM
• All 'Asasi' foundation at Universiti Pertahcnan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM)

Criteria of Selection by BPKP
• Applicants should achieve good academic results in the SPM examination and active participation in co-curricular activities
• Applicants should possess a combination of subjects taken relevant !o the programme applied for
• Applicants should possess good subject grades for specialization purposes
• Applicants must pass the interview test which is set by IPTA for study programmes that require interviews
• Applicants should select study programmes according to order of priority; and
• The availability of places by IPTA

After the SPM examination, students perusing further study in Universities have to start considering the following few things :

1) Study options,
2) Admission requirements,
3) Application procedures and
4) Courses available at public universities

Upper secondary school leavers with SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) qualifications have 2 level to further education in a public universities :
1)  University Degree Foundation level (Program Asasi) for entering into year 1 Bachelor's degree),
2)  Diploma level

After deciding which, what and where to further study the next step is to apply through the centralized processing agency BPKP (Bahagian Pengurusan Kemasukan Pelajor).

BPKP (formerly UPU) is the division under the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education that processes applications from Malaysian SPM qualification holders to enter any of the Government public universities in Malaysia.

Applicants required to complete a university application form from BPKR
The application form ('UPU' Application Form) for SPM qualification holders is usually released in February for the annual intake of students in July.

There are 8 Paths to acquire a Pre-University Qualification

1 Cambridge GCE A-Levels 15-18 months
2 London GCE A-Levels 19 months
3 Australian Matriculation 8 to 10 months
4 Canadian Pre-University 1 year
5 South Australian Matriculation 1 year
6 International Baccalaureate 2 years
7 Malaysian STPM Qualification 1.5 years
8 University Internal Foundation Studies 1 year

WITH a Pre-University Qualification a student has 2 paths to select :

Universities in Malaysia Universities Overseas
Higher Educational Institution in Malaysia
- Private Colleges (3+0 & Twinning degree)
- Private Universities
Universities Worldwide
New Zealand

 SPM School Leavers

Pathways for Upper and Post-secondary School Leavers at IPTS & IPTA for School Leavers with SPM Qualification

After successfully completing 11 years of free education (six years in primary school and five years in secondary school), SPM-level school leavers have many opportunities to further their full-time studies in the Malaysia with following two main study options :

For SPM School leavers :

(post-secondary programmes)
Tertiary Education
(Certificate/Diploma Level)
Skill Qualifications
1- Form 6 (STPM) or the Matriculation Certificate Programme of the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) - Form 6 is available ot Government post-secondary schools and some private colleges while the Matriculation programmes are available at the Ministry's Matriculation Colleges and some MARA colleges

2- The U.K. GCE 'A' Level Programme; Australian and Canadian Pre-University Programmes  available at private colleges

3- Pre-University or University Foundation Programmes available at IPTS and some IPTA

4- Others

1- Diploma Programmes at public universities (IPTA)

2- Certificate/Diploma Programmes at Polytechnics (IPTA);

3- Certificate Programmes at Community Colleges (IPTA);

4- Skills Training Programmes at Skill Training Institutes leading to the award of Malaysian Skills Certificate Level 1-5 (Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia, SKM) qualifications

5- Diploma in Teaching at Teacher Training Institutes;

6- Industry Apprenticeship schemes by Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Bhd and the Ministry of Youth & Sports;

7- Certificate/Diploma/LCCI/CIM/CAT/HND/External Examination Bodies qualification programmes at private colleges

8- Others

As for students with STPM or other post-secondary qualifications (such as STAM and Malriculalion qualifications), whether from the Arts or Science stream, the tertiary education pathway will include:

For STPM  School Leavers


a. Diploma level programmes at private higher educational institutions
b. Semi-professional qualification programmes such as CIM, CAT, etc.
c. Year 1 Bachelor's Degree programmes al public universities or
d. Professional Qualifications such as LLB, ACCA, CIMA, etc. at IPTS

The Ninth Malaysian Plan (9MP) for the year 2006 to 2010 which was announced on 1 April 2006 placed a lot of importance on education, training and lifelong learning. Overall, a total of RM40.3 billlion out of RM200 billion (about 20.1 7%) was allocated for the education sector, as compared to RM37.9 billion for the Eighth Malaysian Plan.

The 9MP is not just a five-year economic programme but a mission in which every Malaysian has a role to play.

The five key thrusts of the plan are :

1) to boost the economy,

2) to nurture "first class mentality",

3) stamp out poverty,

4) improve the quality of life and

5) to promote good governance.

The 9MP outlines plans for more balanced development in under-developed regions in the north, east and southern parts of the peninsula and in Sabah and Sarawak. This is in line with Vision 2020 that aims to make Malaysia a developed country by then, bridging the income gap between people in the rural and urban areas.

Apart from the development of human capital, the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) will be responsible for increasing access to quality tertiary education.

Human Capital Development

In line with the greater focus on human capital development, a total of RM40.3 billion (20.1 7% of the total RM200 billion) will be allocated during the 9MP period to implement initiatives at various education levels, as shown in the table below.


To Raise the Capacity for Knowledge and Innovation and Nurture 'A First Class Mentality'

During the period of the 9MP from 2006 to 2010, efforts will be intensified to develop the country's human capital in order to drive the transformation to a knowledge-based economy.  Programmes and projects will be
undertaken to deliver the National Mission's priorities of improving the education system, increasing innovation and ensuring holistic human capital development.

Areas that will be concentrated on include the following:

1 Improving the Access to and Quality of the Education System at All Levels (Curriculum and Teaching)
2 Making National Schools the School of Choice
3 Producing Tertiary Institutions of International Standing
4 Nurturing Top Quality Research and Development, and Scientific and Innovation Capability
- Strengthening Policy Commitment
- Enhancing Research and Development Capabilities
5 Promoting New Sources of Industrial Growth
6 e-Learnin

Entry Requirements for Pre-University / Diploma/Degree Programmes

University Education Levels

 General Entry Requirements

1 Certificate Level SPM / GCE '0' Level with 1 credit, or its equivalent
2 Diploma Level SPM / GCE '0' Level with 3 credits, or its equivalent
3 University Foundation Programme SPM / GCE '0' Level with 5 credits, or its equivalent

Year 1 Bachelor's Degree

STPM / GCE A-levels + English Proficiency or its equivalent
















Beautiful School gardens in Tawau Town:

Sabah Chinese High School

Yuk Chin Primary School

SMK Abaka

SMK Ursula

SMK Tawau

The provision of education at pre-tertiary level for children of schooling age is regulated by the Education Act 1996. Malaysian  Ministry of Education (MOE) is the agency responsible for establishing and setting in place a comprehensive schooling system from pre-school to secondary education, The strategies to enhance education excellence to a higher level are spelt out in the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010.

MOE  is responsible for regulating the operations of all public and private-funded schools and educational institutions in Malaysia.

Under Malaysian education system, a child's education begins at pre-school at the age of four and admittance to the first year of primary education is compulsory when the child reaches the age of six as at the first (1st) day of January of the current school year. Most schools at this level in Malaysia are government or government-aided schools. However, private schools are growing to meet the demand of more affluent parents in the city.

The school term starts in January and ends in November. All students from both public and private schools under the national education system study the same national curriculum and sit for common public examinations at the end of the primary, lower secondary, upper secondary and sixth form levels. The first three levels of examination are conducted by the examination body, namely the Examination Syndicate of MOE whereas the final level i.e. the sixth form examination is conducted by another examination body, namely the Malaysian Examination Council.

Within the education structure in Malaysia, there are also foreign international schools and expatriate schools that use foreign curriculum and languages to teach students. These foreign schools are not governed by the Education Act 1996 and do not need to conduct the Malaysian National Curriculum.

The Education Act 1996 is the education legislation that provides for pre-school education, primary school education, secondary school education, post-secondary education, teacher education, special education, religious teaching, private education, and technical education.

The Act stipulates the use of the national language Bahasa Malaysia as a medium of instruction in all educational institutions in the national education system except national-type schools or any other educational institutions exempted by the Ministry. The Act also requires all schools to use a national curriculum and prepare pupils for common public examinations.

Public-funded and private-funded educational institutions co-exist in the education system. Primary and secondary school education in the public sector is free but not in the private sector. It is estimated that 95% of the primary and secondary school education in Malaysia is provided by the Government (public schools) while the private sector plays a more important role in the pre-school level and the tertiary level.

The private sector plays a vital part in pre-tertiary education particularly at pre-school levels and actively offers pre-school, primary and secondary education in urban areas. The private sector or self-funded providers cater to parents who can afford education for their children at a fee.

There are four categories of educational institutions providing pre- tertiary education in Malaysia:

1 Government schools
2 Government-aided schools
3 Private schools
4 Foreign system schools (which include international schools and expatriate schools. They are not governed by the Education Act 1996 and are exempted from conducting the Malaysian National Curriculum).

(A) Schooling provided by the Public Sector (Government)

The pre-tertiary education provided by the government for schooling children is categorized into four levels. They are:

Level 1:  Pre-school Education from Age 4 to 6
Level 2:  Primary Education from Age 7 to 12 (Standard 1 to Standard 6 for 6 years)
Level 3:  Secondary Education from Age 13 to 17 (Form 1 to Form 5 for 5 years); and
Level 4:  Post-secondary Education from Age 18 (Sixth Form / Matriculation for 1 to 2 years)

Level 3 : Secondary Education in Public Schools (Form 1 - Form 5, Age 13-17 years)

Upon completion of 6 years primary school education, students will automatically be promoted to secondary schools for another five years i.e. three years lower secondary plus two years of upper secondary education. The education in public secondary schools is free but not mandatory.

The medium of instruction in secondary schools is Bahasa Malaysia while English is taught as a second language in all schools. These two subjects are core subjects and compulsory for all. Chinese, Tamil and Arabic (communication) are offered as additional subjects. Foreign languages such as French and other indigenous languages are also being introduced. English is being used as the medium of instruction for Science and Mathematics subjects.

Providers of Secondary School Education

The main provider of secondary education is the 3 types of National Secondary Schools in Malaysia:

1 Academic secondary schools
2 Technical secondary schools which offer three streams i.e. - technical education - vocational education, and - skills training
3 Secondary schools of other descriptions as determined by the Ministry, such as - National Religious Secondary Schools - Special Education Schools

Levels of Secondary Education

Secondary education is divided into lower and upper secondary levels, and a special year of transition programme known as 'Remove Class' for students from the National-Type Chinese and Tamil primary schools who do not fare well in their language subjects in the UPSR examination.

The different levels are:

Age 13-15

Age 16 - 17

Remove Class - a one-year transition programme for sttudents from National-Type Chinese and Tamil primary schools


Lower secondary level (Form 1 - Form 3, Age 13-15) - focuses on general education

Upper secondary level (Form 4 - Form 5, Age 16 - 17) - streams students into either science, arts, religious, technical or vocational studies

> Remove Class

Remove Class is a transition year for students from the Chinese and Tamil medium schools to acquire sufficient proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia which is the medium of instruction in secondary school [From 1 to Form 5]. However, students who perform well in the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah, UPSR (Primary School Achievement Test) are allowed to proceed to Form 1.

> Lower Secondary (Form 1 - Form 3, Age 13 to 15)

The lower secondary level provided by national academic secondary schools covers a duration of three years i.e. Form 1 to Form 3. Education at this level is general in nature and schools conducting classes at this level are academic-based schools. Students from the national primary schools proceed directly to Form 1.

At the end of the third year at the lower secondary level, students will be required to sit for a public examination called the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) or the Lower Secondary Assessment (LSA). However, PMR is not a terminal examination. It is more of a diagnostic evaluation instead. Therefore, all students will be automatically promoted to the upper secondary level for another two years to complete 11 years of free education.

Upper Secondary (Form 4 - Form 5, Age 16 to 17)

Upon completion of the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination in Form 3, students proceed to another two years of education at upper secondary schools. Based on their preference, PMR examination results and aptitude, students can opt to enter any type of the schools below. After two years of upper secondary education, students sit for the public common examination Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, SPM (also known as the Malaysian Certificate of Education which is equivalent to the GSCE '0' level).

Malaysia has 3 types of upper secondary schools :

1 2 3
Academic Secondary Schools

Students in upper secondary academic schools will pursue a broad based academic education. Core subjects, compulsory subjects and elective subjects which are mainly science, applied arts, and humanities subjects are offered. Students are allowed to choose either the science or arts stream depending on their capabilities and interests in the open certification system.

Most secondary Schools in Malaysia are academic Schools

Technical/ Secondary Schools

These school offers 3 streams :

1) technical education

2) vocational education

3) skills training.

Students enrolled in the technical stream study the same core subjects as the upper secondary school curriculum and can choose science and technical subjects as electives. Only students with a strong background in mathematics and science are selected to enroll in the technical stream. Students from this stream are encouraged to continue their studies in science and technology-related courses at certificate, diploma or degree levels.

The vocational education stream provides courses in pre-employment skills as well as general education. Emphasis is given to general and vocational subjects in order to provide students with a good foundation for admission into polytechnics, community colleges and other institutions of higher education.

In the skills training stream, however, emphasis is given to practical work to develop competency in trade skills required by related industries. They are also prepared for the Malaysian Skill Certificates (SKM).

National Religious Secondary Schools (NRSS)

These schools are known as Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama and offer Islamic Religious Education and Arabic Studies. Subjects related to science and technologies are also included. These schools maintain their uniqueness in offering specialized elective courses in Islamic Studies which are not available in other schools.

The compulsory subjects are Tasawwur Islam, AI-Quran study and As-Sunnah and Syariah Islamiah study. NRSS also offers elective subjects such as Pure Science, Arts, Technology, Information Technology and Languages.


Post-Secondary or Pre-University Education in Public Schools

(Sixth Form / Matriculation, Age 18-19)

After 11 years of free education (six years of primary and five years of secondary education), further study opportunities in Malaysia for school leavers are abundant, however, no longer automatic but is subject to the individual's academic performance and financial afford ability.

SPM school leavers can opt to continue in government schools for a pre-university qualification (like the Sixth Form and Matriculation programmes) for free, or further their education at tertiary or higher institutions at a fee.

The Ministry Of Education offers two types of free post-secondary programmes or pre-university courses for SPM school leavers:

The Sixth Form (Lower and Upper Form for 1.5 years) preparing students for the common public examination, namely Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), or

Matriculation Class (for 1 year) conducted by Matriculation Colleges under the Ministry of Education

Education at post-secondary level prepares SPM school leavers for entry into Bachelor's degree programmes at local public universities, private colleges, private universities, foreign university branch campuses in Malaysia, foreign universities overseas and other institutions of higher education.

Where to go for higher education after SPM and STPM ?

1 - Public Universities & Public College

2 - Private Universities

3 - Foreign University Branch Campuses

4 - Public Skills Training Institute & Private Colleges

5 - Regulatory Body

6 - Professional & Semi-Professional Examination Bodies

However, they all subscribe to the same national curriculum known as KBSM (Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Menengah / Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah), or New Curriculum for Secondary School / Integrated Curriculum for Secondary School. Using this scheme, secondary schooling is separated into Lower Secondary School (Sekolah Menengah Rendah - SMR) and Upper Secondary School (Sekolah Menengah Atas - SMA).

Form 1, Form 2 and Form 3 are grouped as SMR;

Form 4 and Form 5 are grouped as SMA.


The academic subjects (mata pelajaran) taught under KBSM are listed below:

Subjects in Lower Secondary School - Forms 1, 2 & 3
(Subjek dalam Sekolah Menengah Rendah - Tingkatan 1, 2 & 3)


  • Malay Language (Bahasa Melayu)
  • English Language (Bahasa Inggeris)
  • Chinese Language (Bahasa Cina)
  • Tamil Language (Bahasa Tamil)
  • Science (Sains)
  • Mathematics (Matematik)
  • Geography (Geografi)
  • History (Sejarah)
  • Integrated Living Skills (Kemahiran Hidup Bersepadu)
  • Music Education (Pendidikan Muzik)
  • Visual Arts Education (Pendidikan Seni Visual)
  • Physical Education (Pendidikan Jasmani)
  • Health Education (Pendidikan Kesihatan)
  • Moral Education (Pendidikan Moral)
  • Islamic Education (Pendidikan Islam)
  • Malay Language Practice (Amalan Bahasa Melayu) - for Remove Class (Kelas Peralihan) only

SMK Tawau

Subjects in Upper Secondary School - Forms 4 & 5
(Subjek dalam Sekolah Menengah Atas - Tingkatan 4 & 5)
  • Malay Language (Bahasa Melayu)
  • English Language (Bahasa Inggeris)
  • Chinese Language (Bahasa Cina)
  • Tamil Language (Bahasa Tamil)
  • Science (Sains)
  • Mathematics (Matematik)
  • Geography (Geografi)
  • Physics (Fizik)
  • Chemistry (Kimia)
  • Biology (Biologi)
  • Sports Science (Sains Sukan)
  • Malay Literature (Kesusasteraan Melayu)
  • English for Science and Technology - EST (Bahasa Inggeris untuk Sains dan Teknologi)
  • Music Education (Pendidikan Muzik)
  • Visual Arts Education (Pendidikan Seni Visual)
  • Additional Mathematics (Matematik Tambahan)
  • Physical Education (Pendidikan Jasmani)
  • Health Education (Pendidikan Kesihatan)
  • Moral Education (Pendidikan Moral)
  • Islamic Education (Pendidikan Islam)
  • Basic Economics (Ekonomi Asas)
  • Information Technology (Teknologi Maklumat)

         Apart from the subjects listed above, Form 4 and Form 5 students in vocational (vokasional, vokesyenal) schools can also select the following subjects:


Subjects in Vocational School - Forms 4 & 5
(Subjek dalam Sekolah Vokasional - Tingkatan 4 & 5)
  • Domestic Construction (Pembinaan Domestik)
  • Furniture Making (Membuat Perabot)
  • Signage Design (Seni Reka Tanda)
  • Food Planting (Tanaman Makanan)
  • Facial Care and Hairdressing (Penjagaan Muka dan Dandanan Rambut)
  • Domestic Electrical Appliances Servicing (Menservis Peralatan Elektrik Domestik)
  • Clothing Design and Sewing (Rekaan dan Jahitan Pakaian)
  • Catering and Serving (Katering dan Penyajian)
  • Landscape and Nursery (Lanskap dan Nurseri)
  • Aquaculture and Recreational Animals (Akuakultur dan Haiwan Rekreasi)
  • Cooling and Air-Conditioning Equipment Servicing (Menservis Peralatan Penyejukan dan Penyamanan Udara)
  • Basic Interior Design (Hiasan Dalaman Asas)
  • Early Childhood Education and Care (Asuhan dan Pendidikan Awal Kanak-Kanak)
  • Multimedia Production (Produksi Multimedia)
  • Computer Graphics (Grafik Berkomputer)
  • Food Processing (Pemprosesan Makanan)
  • Domestic Wiring (Pendawaian Domestik)
  • Automobile Servicing (Menservis Automobil)

         In addition to Forms 1 to 5, there is also a Form 6 (Tingkatan 6) which serves as a pre-university (pra-universiti) level. Form 6 students comprise of two stages :

- Lower 6 (Tingkatan 6 Bawah) and

- Upper 6 (Tingkatan 6 Atas).


Students in Form 6 are usually aiming to enter one of the several local universities in Malaysia. In order to achieve that, they will have to do well in the STPM examination. The subjects available in Form 6 will be covered in the section on STPM below.

SMK Abaka

AMK AbakaSMK Kuhara

PMR (Form 3)

         PMR, short for Penilainan Menengah Rendah or Lower Secondary Assessment is a compulsory national examination (peperiksaan kebangsaan) for Form 3 secondary school students. These pupils will sit for the exam at the end of their academic year. Not all subjects that are taught in school will be tested though. Only selected subjects considered as important are covered in the PMR. These subjects are:


Subjects in Lower Secondary Assessment, PMR - Form 3
(Subjek dalam Penilaian Menengah Rendah, PMR - Tingkatan 3)
  • Malay Language (Bahasa Melayu)
  • English Language (Bahasa Inggeris)
  • Chinese Language (Bahasa Cina)
  • Tamil Language (Bahasa Tamil)
  • Arabic Language - Communication
    (Bahasa Arab - Komunikasi)
  • Punjabi Language (Bahasa Punjabi)
  • Mathematics (Matematik)
  • Science (Sains)
  • History (Sejarah)
  • Geography (Geografi)
  • Islamic Education (Pendidikan Islam)
  • Integrated Living Skills
    (Kemahiran Hidup Bersepadu)
  • Iban Language (Bahasa Iban)

SPM / SPMV (Form 5)

         SPM, short for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or Malaysian Certificate of Education is a compulsory national examination (peperiksaan kebangsaan) for Form 5 secondary school students. These pupils will sit for the exam at the end of their academic year. For vocational schools, the equivalent examination will be SPM(V), short for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (Vokasional) or Malaysian Certificate of Education (Vocational). Subjects offered in the SPM / SPVM are:


Subjects in Malaysian Certificate of Education, SPM / SPMV - Form 5
(Subjek dalam Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, SPM / SPMV - Tingkatan 5)
  • Malay Language (Bahasa Melayu)
  • English Language (Bahasa Inggeris)
  • Islamic Education (Pendidikan Islam)
  • Moral Education (Pendidikan Moral)
  • History (Sejarah)
  • Mathematics (Matematik)
  • Science (Sains)
  • English Literature (Kesusasteraan Bahasa Inggeris)
  • Malay Literature (Kesusasteraan Melayu)
  • Geography (Geografi)
  • Advanced Arabic Language (Bahasa Arab Tinggi)
  • Arts Education (Pendidikan Seni)
  • Music Education (Pendidikan Muzik)
  • Additional Mathematics (Matematik Tambahan)
  • Agricultural Science (Sains Pertanian)
  • Commerce (Perdagangan)
  • Accounting Principles (Prinsip Akaun)
  • Basic Economics (Ekonomi Asas)
  • Household Economics (Ekonomi Rumah Tangga)
  • Engineering Drawing (Lukisan Kejuruteraan)
  • Mechanical Engineering Studies (Pengajian Kejuruteraan Jentera)
  • Civil Engineering Studies (Pengajian Kejuruteraan Awam)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering Study (Pengajian Kejuruteraan Elektrik dan Elektronik)
  • Design (Reka Cipta)
  • Engineering Technology (Teknologi Kejuruteraan)
  • Information Technology (Teknologi Maklumat)
  • Physics (Fizik)
  • Chemistry (Kimia)
  • Biology (Biologi)
  • Additional Science (Sains Tambahan)
  • Sports Science Knowledge (Pengetahuan Sains Sukan)
  • Islamic Tasawwur (Tasawwur Islam)
  • Al-Quran and As-Sunnah Education (Pendidikan Al-Quran dan As-Sunnah)
  • Syariah Islamiah Education (Pendidikan Syariah Islamiah)
  • Chinese Language (Bahasa Cina)
  • Tamil Language (Bahasa Tamil)
  • Arabic Language - Communication (Bahasa Arab - Komunikasi)
  • Machine Workshop Technology (Teknologi Bengkel Mesin)
  • Grinding and Machining Work (Kerja Menggegas dan Memesin)
  • Machine and Geometrical Drawing (Lukisan Geometri dan Mesin)
  • Building Construction Technology (Teknologi Binaan Bangunan)
  • Wood and Brick Work (Kerja Kayu dan Bata)
  • Building Construction and Geometrical Drawing (Lukisan Geometri dan Binaan Bangunan)
  • Electrical Technology (Teknologi Elektrik)
  • Electrical Control and Installation (Pemasangan dan Kawalan Elektrik)
  • Electrical and Geometrical Drawing (Lukisan Geometri dan Elektrik)
  • Electronics Technology (Teknologi Elektronik)
  • TV and Radio Servicing (Menservis Radio dan TV)
  • Electronics and Geometrical Drawing (Lukisan Geometri dan Elektronik)
  • Metal Fabrication and Welding Technology (Teknologi Kimpalan dan Fabrikasi Logam)
  • Welding Work (Kerja Kimpalan)
  • Metal Fabrication and Geometrical Drawing (Lukisan Geometri dan Fabrikasi Logam)
  • Automotive Technology (Teknologi Automotif)
  • Vehicle Repair and Servicing (Menservis dan Membaiki Kenderaan)
  • Automotive and Geometrical Drawing (Lukisan Geometri dan Automotif)
  • Air-Conditioning and Cooling Technology (Teknologi Penyejukan dan Penyamanan Udara)
  • Air-Conditioning and Cooling Work (Kerja Penyejukan dan Penyamanan Udara)
  • Air-Conditioning and Geometrical Drawing (Lukisan Geometri dan Penyamanan Udara)
  • Basic Information Processing (Asas Pemprosesan Maklumat)
  • Catering Technology (Teknologi Katering)
  • Food Preparation and Service (Penyediaan dan Perkhidmatan Makanan)
  • Clothes Making and Fashion Design Technology (Teknologi Rekaan Fesyen dan Membuat Pakaian)
  • Clothes Making and Fashion Design (Rekaan Fesyen dan Membuat Pakaian)
  • Cosmetics Technology (Teknologi Seni Kecantikan)
  • Make-Up and Hairdressing (Persolekan dan Mendandan Rambut)
  • Confectionery and Bakery Technology (Teknologi Bakeri dan Konfeksioneri)
  • Patisserie and Bread Making (Membuat Roti dan Patisserie)
  • Child Care (Asuhan Kanak-Kanak)
  • Minding and Caring for Children (Mengasuh dan Membimbing Kanak-kanak)
  • Plants Production (Pengeluaran Tanaman)
  • Poultry Production (Pengeluaran Ternakan)
  • Decorative Horticulture and Landscaping (Hortikultur Hiasan dan Landskap)
  • Farming Machines (Kejenteraan Ladang)
  • Farm Management (Pengurusan Ladang)
  • Chinese Literature (Kesusasteraan Cina)
  • Tamil Literature (Kesusasteraan Tamil)
  • Bible Knowledge (Pengetahuan Kitab Injil)
  • French Language (Bahasa Perancis)
  • Punjabi Language (Bahasa Punjabi)
The large number of subjects on offer is due to the existence of multiple streams (aliran) of study. Choosing a certain combination of subjects constitues a 'package' (pakej). Among the 'packages' are Pure Science (Sains Tulen / Sains Tulin), Professional Arts (Sastera Ikhtisas), Islamic Studies (Pengajian Islam), Humanities (Kemanusiaan), Vocational (Vokasional / Vokesyenal), Additional Science (Sains Tambahan), Information Technology (Teknologi Maklumat) & etc.

STPM / STAM (Form 6)

         STPM, short for Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia or Malaysian Higher School Certificate is a pre-university (pra-universiti) national examination (peperiksaan kebangsaan) for Form 6 students. These pupils will sit for the exam at the end of their academic year. Subjects offered in the STPM are:


Subjects in Malaysian Higher School Certificate, STPM - Form 6
(Subjek dalam Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, STPM - Tingkatan 6)
  • General Studies (Pengajian Am)
  • Malay Language (Bahasa Melayu)
  • Chinese Language (Bahasa Cina)
  • Tamil Language (Bahasa Tamil)
  • Arabic Language (Bahasa Arab)
  • Syariah (Syariah)
  • Usuluddin (Usuluddin)
  • History (Sejarah)
  • Geography (Geografi)
  • Economics (Ekonomi)
  • Accounting (Perakaunan)
  • Literature In English (Kesusateraan Bahasa Inggeris)
  • Malay Literature (Kesusasteraan Melayu)
  • Business Studies (Pengajian Perniagaan)
  • Mathematics S (Matematik S)
  • Mathematics T (Matematik T)
  • Further Mathematics T (Matematik Lanjutan T)
  • Computing (Perkomputeran)
  • Physics (Fizik)
  • Chemistry (Kimia)
  • Biology (Biologi)
  • Visual Arts (Seni Visual)

All pre-university students are also required to sit for the Malaysian University English Test - MUET (Ujian Bahasa Inggeris Universiti Malaysia). Not only STPM students, but Matriculation (Matrikulasi) and Diploma (Diploma) students who wish to enter a local university have to take MUET. The test is intended to assess the achievement and proficiency level of these students in the English language.

 Malaysians Students Tops in Mathermatic and Science in
Cambridge A-Level examinations 2007

Nine students have made Malaysian proud by being the world's top scorers in eight subjects in the Cambridge A-Level examinations in June 2007.

The subjects are further mathematics, mathematics, geography, biology, chemistry, physics, art and design, and French.

One of the students - Joshua Tan Hoong Yu, of Taylor's University College - has the highest score in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics.

The other top scorers are Lim Tim Weng (further mathematics), Bradley Ben (geography), Jean Kee Hooi (art and design), Juginder Luwita Huma Randhawa Mohd (French), and Ang Ju Li, Lau Lih Kai, Vincent Lai Voon Chin and Yeoh Su-Ann (all in mathematics).

University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) assistant director Nick Sansome said he was surprised Malaysian students have done so well in mathematics and science.

"I have never seen such outstanding mathematics results. When I was shown the results, I could not believe it. The maths results are second to none," he told reporters after the ClE's Brilliance in Malaysia Awards, adding that students elsewhere were struggling in mathematics.

Sansome said the outcome was a real tribute to the Malaysia's education system, where the Education Ministry has put so much effort in emphasising the importance of maths and science subjects.

There were also 14 students who scored the world's highest marks in five subjects (thinking skills, literature in English, biology, accounting and maths) in Advanced Subsidiary (AS)- Level and one who scored the best in the world in the foreign language. Mandarin Chinese paper, in the International General Certificate of Secondary Education.

Students from Islamic Secondary Schools (Sekolah Menengah Agama - SMA) will sit for the STAM, short for Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia or Malaysian Higher Religious Certificate to secure admission into Islamic universities. Subjects offered in the STAM are:  

 Subjects in Malaysian Higher Religious Certificate, STAM - Islamic Pre University
(Subjek dalam Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia, STAM - Pra Universiti Agama)

  • Hifz Al-Quran & Tajwid
  • Fiqh
  • Tauhid
  • Tafsir & Ulumuhu
  • Hadith & Mustolah
  • Mantiq
  • Nahu
  • Sarf
  • Insya'
  • Adab & Nusus
  • Mutala'ah
  • Arud & Qafiyah
  • Balaghah

Clusters of excellence

Every school has a chance to join the Education Ministry's elite league of cluster schools, but it is a responsibility not to be taken lightly, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein tells StarEducation in a preview of the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010. 

What are cluster schools?
Cluster schools are centers of excellence (within each school grouping) focusing on niche areas like music, sports, ICT, sciences, languages and special education.

DOES your school have an excellent academic record? Is it blessed with a top-class administration and historical pedigree? Is it equipped with first-rate facilities? Is it strong in a specific area like music or sports? 

If the answer is yes, the Education Ministry invites you to join its cluster of excellent schools. 

The decision to open up the selection process for the pioneer 300 cluster schools was made when the ministry was bombarded with calls and applications from schools that wanted to be included in the initiative, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said in an interview on Friday. 

“Since I first announced the idea, the Ministry has been swamped with calls and applications from interested schools. Therefore, once the ministry establishes the final guidelines and criteria, I plan to open the application to become a cluster school to all. Everybody and anybody can apply to become a cluster school by submitting their respective RFPs (request for proposal),” he said. 

One of the main strategies in the upcoming National Education Blueprint 2006-2010, the cluster school concept was mooted to spur outstanding schools in the country to achieve world-class standards. 

“To successfully compete and win in today’s environment, our students have to master the art of critical thinking – able to think out of the box, confident and most importantly, marketable. Also, our schools must be world class – able to produce all rounded Malaysians. It is therefore important that our system undergoes a reengineering and realignment process to ensure that we are not overcome by these developments,” he noted. 

In the last few decades, added Hishammuddin, the focus has been on education for all, but now the time has come to shift some of the focus to the top of the crop.  

In addition to the prestigious upgrading, these schools will be required to develop their individual niche areas like sports, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), music, co-curricular activities, sciences and special education.  

Previously, however, the ministry had said that it would identify the deserving candidates for the first rollout. 

The change in approach, he explained, was aimed at empowering schools, parents and other stakeholders instead of implementing a top down decision. 

To help schools write their proposals, the guidelines and criteria will be published in March. For a transparent selection process, a special select committee comprising experts, stakeholders and ministry officials will be established to vet through the applications and shortlist them for the final approval.  

Shared Hishammuddin, the ministry conducted a thorough research by visiting and studying various models of top schools in the world, including Singapore, Britain and Australia to determine how these schools will be effectively run. 

One measure, he explained, is to give the heads of the chosen schools more autonomy in managing the running of their schools from human resource to assets, funds and student intake. 

“They can advertise and choose the teachers and staff which will serve in their school, decide on which students can enter their schools, raise additional funds to finance things such as additional pay for their teachers, additional procurement and programmes.  

“They can also manage their teaching and learning by exploring different methods and assessment as well as a different curriculum,” he revealed. 

However, he stressed, with the increased autonomy and authority, come the equally important aspect of responsibility and accountability.  

“I hope the interested schools know that the standards will be strict because they will be the benchmark for other schools,” he shared, adding that he is encouraged by the interest as it reflects the high level of confidence within the system. 

These schools will be monitored very closely by not only the ministry but also other related parties such as the Parent-Teacher Associations and the general public. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) will be established, against which the schools will be judged, he added. 

As a demonstration of the ministry's seriousness, he said: “A carrot and stick approach will also be adopted whereby schools which perform will be extended more assistance, while schools which do not will be penalized.”  

An important criterion to ensure the success of the initiative is school leadership, he stressed. 

“We need leaders who can inspire the next generation and make them want to excel. Therefore, it is crucial that significant emphasis and attention be given to empower and uplift the status of the teaching profession.” 

The focus on the teaching profession is clearly spelt out in the blueprint with various strategies proposed to improve the quality and welfare of teachers over the next five years. 

“For one, future applications to become teachers will be made more stringent. I want to ensure that those who are recruited in the profession are the crθme de la crθme, dedicated, passionate and possess strong leadership qualities. Furthermore, the ministry will expand on its effort to 'head hunt' quality teachers-to-be, by catching them young (after SPM), via the existing programmes.” 

Second, he highlighted, is improving in-service training for teachers. 

“This is crucial as we need to ensure the leadership capacity and skills of our teachers are brought up a step through reorientation and reemphasis in certain areas. Leadership is a key element; without able and innovative leaders; the autonomy agenda cannot work.” 

Allocations for education

Sarawak and Sabah will continue to be given bigger allocations to boost the development of education.
RM900 million was allocated under the Special Stimulus Package (PRK) in 2012.
Sarawak received the most. Sarawak receives 553 projects and a total allocation of RM125.8 million for upgrading and renovating.
Priority in PRK is schools in the badly damaged category.
Of the total RM900 million allocation, RM500 million was for national schools (SK), RM100 million for national type schools (SJK), and RM100 million each for government aided religious schools (SABK) and mission schools.

The allocation was meant for repairing roofs, repairing buildings destroyed by termites, and repairing and upgrading teachers’ quarters. It does not include new projects.
335 projects costing RM159 million for national schools involved structure, 1,000 upgrading projects (RM100 million) and 170 wiring projects (RM85 million).

More about SMK Secondary Education  October 24, 2018 11:40:27 PM

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