By Anqi Chen
A roaring panther surround by hundreds of competitors with cold eyes shooting from all directions. We are fearless. We are powerful. We are eloquent. We break this breathtaking silence in exchange for endless warm cheers and applause. This dream of competing in IASAS as an ISKL representative surrounded me day and night. Until a few weeks earlier, I finally got the chance. Yet it crushed me when I saw the fee: RM 1500.
IASAS is a high-level competition involving teams from an association of six private schools in Southeast Asia with sport and art events held throughout the school year. Representatives are required to pay their own IASAS traveling fee along with many others.
Reality is cruel.
An ISKL student pays an annual tuition of RM 165,015 not including the cost of uniforms, books, lunch, and GAP. Also, we expect a 5% increase in school fees due to the construction of the new campus. Therefore, having parents to pay for IASAS as well is an absolute tragedy.
One student says the IASAS traveling fee should be paid by students for “those who do not go to IASAS subsidize those that do”, given that they will technically pay for it in the school tuition. But consider the fees ISKL requires compared to other international schools.
No. More than that.
Among the annual fees of the top international schools in Kuala Lumpur, research reveals that a GIS student pays RM 84,710; an AISM student pays RM 76,480; an SIS student pays RM 78,500. As a result, the minimum tuition gap between ISKL and one of these schools is about RM 50,000. However, we do not gain anything else aside from learning for paying this much. Instead, we still need to pay separately for countless other things in school.
In an ISKL high school survey on IASAS Fees, a student’s cost per event is above RM1000. Additionally, 56.4 % students attend more than one event per year. Therefore most of the students pay on average over RM 4,000, solely for IASAS.
We earn our IASAS opportunities with our sweat and tears which includes sacrifices on our study time, and now here comes this cash-wall to crush our dreams.
Such a costly opportunity.
Students have rights to choose whether they want to go or not. Setting these cash-barriers means that if your family is not as financially capable to spend money on other things except for tuition fees, you might think about quitting your IASAS event.
Where is our panther spirits?
Are these supports from the school “We are panthers! We are a family!” as cliche as it sounds？Or is these heavy layers of money blocking their eyes？So they cannot identify the needs of students?
We represent ISKL. We need real support.
I would like to stress some changes we could make to the fees:
- ISKL should pay our IASAS visa fee and transportation fees, which do not include:
- IASAS Exchange travel fee
- meals and shopping
- medicine treatments
- School should offer IASAS Scholarships each season to one to two participants in order to invigorate the morale of students
- School should sponsor some students to IASAS whose family with an income of lower than 25,000 RM/month
As a student, the pressure in IASAS competition is real, even more than the pressure of seeing your family giving up everything to support you, while the only thing you can do is to achieve your goals. Well, can they even support you till that time?
Through many voices of students and parents, ISKL needs to take on the responsibility of paying for IASAS travel fees. We are a family. We need real support from each other because that is the true spirit of the ISKL panthers.
- “Admissions.” Admissions | Sunway International School, SIS, 20 Mar. 2018, sis.sunway.edu.my/iskandar/Admissions. Accessed 20 Mar. 2018.
- AISM. “Fees.” International School Fees | Australian International School Malaysia, AISM, 20 Mar. 2018, http://www.aism.edu.my/admissions/fees. Accessed 20 Mar. 2018.
- “Fees.” The International School of Kuala Lumpur, ISKL, 20 Mar. 2018, http://www.iskl.edu.my/enrollment/fees. Accessed 20 Mar. 2018.
- ISKL, director. ISKL Rugby 2013 – Moments of Gold. Youtube , Phil Zach, 3 Feb. 2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5JAJJVbc7k.
- “School Fees.” Garden International School Malaysia, GIS, 20 Mar. 2018, http://www.gardenschool.edu.my/school-fees. Accessed 20 Mar. 2018.