Malaysia tackles poverty-driven school dropouts with compulsory 11-year education

Deputy Education Minister Lim Hui Ying has stated that poverty is a significant factor contributing to school dropouts, particularly among secondary school students in Malaysia. The Ministry of Education (MOE) has discovered that some students are unable to attend school as they must work to support their families financially.

Addressing this social issue during a question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat, Lim highlighted the importance of finding solutions to this problem. In response to a supplementary question from Muhammad Ismi Mat Taib regarding the connection between poverty and school dropouts, Lim detailed the MOE’s efforts to tackle the issue.

One of the key steps implemented by the MOE is making it compulsory for all students to complete 11 years of schooling, starting from Year One in primary school and continuing through to Form Five in secondary school. This initiative aims to help students from low-income families stay in education for longer.

Additionally, the MOE has expanded the implementation of Comprehensive Special Model School Year 9 (K9) from 12 to 17 schools. The primary objective of the K9 schools is to address dropout rates in rural areas, where students often face challenges in continuing their education to the secondary level due to factors such as remote school locations, difficult terrain, and family socio-economics.

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The MOE has also introduced the Comprehensive Special Model School Year 11 (K11) concept, which provides students with access to a more comprehensive education from Year One to Form Five. This initiative is expected to help reduce dropout rates for students transitioning from lower secondary to upper secondary school.

To further support students from low-income families, the MOE offers 18 types of school assistance, including federal scholarships, supplementary food programmes, and early schooling assistance. Additional aid, such as textbook loans and counselling services, is also provided to encourage students to continue their education.

In conclusion, the Malaysian government is actively working to address the issue of school dropouts due to poverty. By implementing a variety of initiatives and providing support for students from low-income families, the MOE aims to ensure that all students have the opportunity to complete their education and overcome the challenges posed by poverty.

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Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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