Cluster Schools for Diverse Students’ Needs in Malaysia: A System View

Aziah Ismail, Abdul Ghani Abdullah


This study aims to examine the role of the cluster schools in Malaysia in order to meet the diverse needs of students. It also seeks to identify the efforts that were initiated by the cluster schools in managing the sustainability of their niche areas to be in line with their students’ needs. Data was collected using interviews and documents analysis which are related to six cluster schools in Malaysia from different excellent clusters. The findings showed that the niche areas of each cluster schools were selected based on their students’ excellence in academic, curricular or personality areas. Thus, the niche area of each cluster school is different from the others. This indicates that the interest and propensity of students in cluster schools are tailored with the creation and selection of different niche areas for each school. In addition, the study also showed that the cluster schools have organized various programs and activities to accelerate their students’ excellence in their particular niche areas. There are also programs and activities which were initiated by the students at national as well as international levels. Results obtained from this study proved that the creation of cluster schools in Malaysia is not just to accelerate the organizational excellence per se, but also to focus on the needs of diverse students.  This is also strengthened by the efforts of the schools to accelerate their students’ excellence in their particular niche areas.

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