KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — The Education Ministry (MOE) has said that the estimated figure of 100,000 school dropouts given by the non-governmental organisation (NGO), Untuk Malaysia, is inaccurate.
In a written reply published on the Parliament’s website today, MOE said that until June last year, the dropout rate of primary school pupils nationwide was at 0.07 per cent while for secondary students it was 0.99 per cent.
“This is attributed to the use of estimation methods and definition of dropout used (by NGO) defers from MOE.
“The definition used by the organisation includes student dropouts from the education system including the number of students who registered for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) but did not attend and failed to obtain the certificate,” according to the ministry.
The statement was in response to a question from Datuk Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik (PH-Balik Pulau), who wanted to know the ministry’s recovery plan as well as what form of cooperation there would be between ministries regarding the 100,000 dropouts, the number according to Untuk Malaysia.
The MOE said its definition of dropouts is Malaysian students who are in the education system (schooling) but leave the system before the end of the education period.
The ministry, among others, has done a dropout outreach programme in all district education offices with the cooperation of the local community with the intention of giving a focused intervention to help school dropouts to return to school.
It said the results of the programme’s implementation were that 5,121 primary schoolchildren and 1,711 secondary schoolchildren had returned to school, based on data from the state education departments in 2022.
In other developments, the MOE said 600 teacher candidates, involving various subject options, are expected to be placed in Chinese National Type Schools (SJKC) and Tamil National Type Schools (SJKT) in stages this year to overcome the problem of teacher shortage.
“MOE, in collaboration with the Education Service Commission (ESC), will carry out continuous recruitment to overcome the issue of teacher shortage,” according to the ministry in reply to a question by Tan Hong Pin (PH-Bakri) about the steps MOE is taking to overcome the shortage of Chinese and Tamil language teachers in government-aided schools.
According to the MOE, one of the solutions to overcome this issue is to make improvements in the recruitment process of teachers for the Bachelor of Teaching Degree Programme (PISMP) at the Institute of Teacher Education (IPG).
Thus, MOE has opened the opportunity for students, holding the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) qualification, who are interested in attending the PISMP to apply to the MOE for the specialisation in Chinese and Tamil for primary level, with additional elective subjects such as visual arts education, design and technology as well as physical education, starting this year.