Maszlee: B40 quota to prevent rich from dominating boarding schools

Education Minister Maszlee Malik visiting Sekolah Kebangsaan Putrajaya Presint 14 (1) in conjunction with the first day of school for 2019 session January 2, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Education Minister Maszlee Malik visiting Sekolah Kebangsaan Putrajaya Presint 14 (1) in conjunction with the first day of school for 2019 session January 2, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 2 ― The 60 per cent quota in boarding schools for poor students from the bottom 40 per cent (B40) was instituted to stop well-to-do families from abusing the system, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said today.

He said his ministry was committed to restore the original objective of these schools, which was to help children from poor households who excelled in their studies.

“Many rich kids are going to boarding schools, leaving the poor out in the cold.

“If we want to help the poor, the only way is through education hence we've reserved 60 per cent of all boarding schools in Malaysia for families in the B40 category,” Maszlee told reporters after visiting Sekolah Kebangsaan Putrajaya Presint 14(1) here.

“While in the past we focused on kids in the rural areas, this time we're extending our reach to low-income uniformed personnel and the poor in city areas.”

Bernama had reported on December 23 that the quota system for B40 students had become a sensitive issue with many parents who had hoped that their children, with straight A’s and a solid co-curricular background, would be enrolled in boarding schools based on merit.

To a question on whether students who have good academic results and are active in co-curricular activities may be depressed if they cannot enter boarding schools, Maszlee said: “Successful kids can excel in any school”.