Underage marriage among factors for dropping out of primary schools

The Education ministry has issued guidelines to manage cases of students at risk of dropping out from schools. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Underage marriage is among reasons some children are dropping out from primary schools, says Education Minister Maszlee Malik.

He said other factors were poverty, lack of interest among students and parents, illness, disability and social problems.

“The ministry has issued guidelines to manage cases of students at risk of dropping out from schools, which will help schools to monitor, identify such students and manage the cases effectively and systematically,” he told Dewan Rakyat today.

He said his ministry was taking a “micro approach” to address the problem of dropouts.

This includes a programme to achieve zero school dropout and an initiative to collect data on such cases, being pioneered in Perlis, Langkawi, Hulu Langat, Pasir Mas, Kluang and Kulai.

He said the programme involved various ministries, government and non-government agencies as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Maszlee also said his ministry was also identifying personalities from among the royal families as well as captains of industry, government and political leaders to help address the issue.

He said a “zero reject policy” would also be put forward next year to ensure disabled persons would not drop out of school.

Meanehile, Maszlee said between 2014 and 2017, there was an upward trend of students transitioning from Year Six to Form 1, from 96.06% to 97.52%.

The percentage of dropouts, he said, decreased from 0.34% to 0.29%.

“We are targeting a dropout percentage of 0.27% next year. We hope there will be a further reduction,” he said.