Indian kids most disadvantaged by parents’ education level


KUALA LUMPUR: A study by the Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) shows that less than 10 per cent of Indian children, who are born to parents who either never went to school or dropped out at primary school, are able to go the full distance themselves in getting tertiary education.

This is the lowest ratio from among the three principal communities in the country – Bumiputera, Chinese and Indian.

By comparison, about 35 per cent of Bumiputera children, who are born to parents who either never went to school or dropped out at primary school, make the grade to receive tertiary education, while the ratio is about 40 per cent for Chinese children who grew up under the same circumstances.

This is reflected in the report entitled Climbing The Ladder: Socio-economic Mobility in Malaysia, which was released by KRI today.

The disparity in tertiary education opportunity naturally narrows when it comes to children who are born to parents with secondary school education or are university graduates.

The study shows that with parents who are secondary school educated or higher, then the percentage among Indian children who make it to tertiary education level is about 70 per cent, while Bumiputera children hit 74 per cent and Chinese children lead with 79 per cent.

However, as a standalone ratio for children whose parents had received tertiary education themselves, the Indian kids take the top spot, with 96 per cent repeating their parents’ success.

In Chinese families, 93 per cent of the children are on par with their parents who had gone on to university, while for the Bumiputeras, the ratio is 92 per cent.

On the opposite end of the scale, the KRI report also discovered that there are children in Malaysia who have not entered primary school nor received any form of formal education.

This is especially the case when their parents too did not receive any formal education whatsoever. There is a four per cent ratio of this happening among the Chinese community and one per cent, among Bumiputeras. Interestingly, the study finds no Indian children are left behind or deprived of some form of formal education, regardless of their parents education, or lack thereof.

Overall, the KRI report notes that almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of Malaysian children are better educated than their parents, with only two per cent of them being less educated.