The effect of household socioeconomic characteristics, such as educational levels, is more pronounced for Malaysian Indians than other ethnicities. For children born to parents with no formal education, 33% of Bumiputera and 44% of Chinese children succeed in attaining tertiary education compared to only 5% of Indian children; this interethnic pattern is similar for parents with primary and secondary education. The interethnic educational attainment pattern of Malaysian Indians only disappears at the highest level i.e. where parents possess tertiary educational qualifications.
Key Issues & Current Interventions
- According to field workers, the low educational attainment of IB40 parents and caregivers, which in many cases is exacerbated by illiteracy and/or dysfunctional behaviour, makes them relatively unable to assist with schoolwork or provide positive discipline and reinforcement compared to middle- and upper-income parents.
- The capacity of schools and teachers to deal with class-driven underperformance is also a challenge. Broad Government programs have focused on financial aid, with assistance in the form of free textbooks, supplementary food programs and tuition aid amongst others.
- In terms of Indian-focused interventions, measures have focused on grants to Non-Governmental Organisations (“NGOs”) for tuition, homework guidance, mentoring, as well as parental engagement.
Moving Forward: Recommendations & Initiatives
To deliver on these targets, this Blueprint aims to effect the following:
1. Establish IB40 Educational Performance Initiative
To structure, establish, and implement a cohesive Initiative focused on tracking and improving the educational attainment of IB40 children and youth.
2. Streamline units, initiatives & budgets under the CCIC related to education
The core mandate of the Education Team is to address the educational performance gaps of Indian students, particularly from IB40 households.
3. Establish Joint CCIC-MOE Taskforce on Education
A Joint Taskforce comprising senior officials from the MOE, the MIB Implementation team, and other relevant Government agencies, and reporting to the CCIC, is proposed to be established.
IB40 Educational Performance Initiative
- Identification and outreach
- Student’s learning needs and aspirations, including role modelling
- Parental engagement/home learning environment (link to Family Turnaround Initiative)
- Teacher and school engagement on IB40 educational needs
- Additional support e.g. tuition, special education
- Impact measurement, continuous improvement and service provider capacity building