KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — A total of 21,316 students did not complete their education and dropped out of schools during March 2020 to July 2021, the Education Ministry has said.
In a written parliamentary reply, the Education Ministry stated that it defined dropouts from the education system as situations where Malaysian students were schooling but who left the education system before completing the period of education.
In other words, these were students that prematurely stopped schooling before they could finish their studies.
“Based on data for March to December 2020, students who stopped schooling are 11,301 or 0.24 per cent of students.
“For the period of January to July 2021, a total of 10,015 students or 0.21 per cent students were recorded stopping schooling.
“The total number of students who stopped schooling for the period from March 2020 to July 2021 is 21,316 or 0.22 per cent students,” the ministry said in the reply.
Kangar MP Noor Amin Ahmad last night posted on Twitter the undated written parliamentary reply from the Education Ministry from the Dewan Rakyats first meeting of the fourth term of the 14th Parliament, which would cover Dewan Rakyat sittings from September 13 to October 12 this year.
Noor Amin had in the Dewan Rakyat asked the education minister to state the number of students who had stopped schooling from March 2020 until now.
A check of the statistics on the Education Ministry’s website shows that there are 5,038,318 students in Malaysia.
The official statistics of slightly over five million students cover those who are in preschool, primary and secondary schools at government schools and government-aided schools as well as the Institute of Teacher Education’s preschool programme.
Malaysia entered into its first movement control order on March 18, 2020 and went through various phases and versions of such movement restrictions that had included school closures and shifts to online classes, and is still battling the Covid-19 pandemic now.
Last year, the “Family On Edge” survey jointly commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) found that the number of students from many of Klang Valley’s poor communities returning to the classroom is dropping at an alarming rate as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak’s disruption of school.
Among the findings of the study was that some of the children had become demotivated or lost interest in continuing school, while some families had difficulties paying tuition fees and transportation fees or giving pocket money.
The survey also found that eight out of ten students come from households with no computers or laptops, while nine of ten only had smartphones as their learning devices.