PUTRAJAYA, April 29 — Education Minister Maszlee Malik said today the 60 per cent admission rate for students from the B40 (low income) households to fully residential schools (SBP) and a zero reject policy when it comes to students with disabilities is among the achievements his Ministry has accomplished so far.
Maszlee said one of the core objectives of the ministry was to provide long-term assistance to students from the B40 group.
“Since the start of the 2019 school session, 4,888 student from the B40 group were offered admission into SPB schools where 2,630 students took the offer.
“We strongly believe that with quality education students can get a better job, which can help them and their family to come out of poverty,” he told reporters during an interview session in conjunction with Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) first-anniversary celebration.
Maszlee said as families of B40 students are unable to support their children’s tuition fees, therefore it was important that the government introduce initiatives that would give them an opportunity at a quality education.
He said apart from that, the government for the year 2018 and 2019 has allocated 23,895 seats at public universities for B40 students and will allocate 60 per cent of 25,000 matriculation programme seats to them.
“We will also assist them financially by offering scholarships. At the moment RM68.1 million has been allocated to help B40 students throughout the country,” he said.
Maszlee said the ministry had also given attention to students with disabilities (OKU) by introducing a zero reject policy where the main objective was to ensure students receive education in line with their capabilities.
“Many parents are not aware that we are here to help such students. Before introducing the zero reject policy we only had 1,486 special needs students who registered for the 2019 school sessions.
“The moment they heard about the zero reject policy, the number of students increased to 5,486 within a short period,” he said.
Maszlee said the special education department had also actively engaged with non-governmental organisation to constantly get their feedback.
He said public universities also have a special quota for special needs students and would accommodate them.
Meanwhile on a separate matter, Maszlee said the ministry will release a mid-term analysis in June on the abolishment of mid-year and final year examinations for students in Year 1.
He said the ministry believes the move to abolish the exams was a step forward in reforming the education system to also focus on character development.
He said the assessment on Year 1 students will be carried out in a more objective way through better teaching environment.
“Through this effort we will produce students who have the ability to think holistically in addition to building their self-esteem and positive values from the beginning.
“Parents will also be able to see that their children are not only focused on education, but are growing to become a better person,” he said.
Maszlee said the classroom-based assessments were meant to be “student-centred, fun and contain 21st-century learning elements” ― instead of being exam-oriented.