BUKIT MERTAJAM: The education ministry is in the midst of finalising the compulsory secondary education policy in an effort to curb the issue of students dropping out of school.
Education minister Fadhlina Sidek said the issue of dropouts would not occur if children were required to study up to the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) level under the new policy.
She also said that the country was facing enrollment problems for preschool and secondary school levels but not for primary schools.
“We have no problem with primary school enrollment which stood at 99%. We reach the universal target because we have a compulsory primary education policy,” she said when appearing as a guest at a Women’s Question Time event last night, along with PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Fadhlina said the ministry hoped to tackle the preschool enrollment problem by establishing 118 new preschools this year.
She said this was an early intervention measure to prevent student dropouts at the early childhood education level.
“I am pleased to see preschools with two sessions. This shows that our preschools are getting a much better response. That is why it is important to support early education so that we can have a preschool in every primary school,” she said.
She added that early intervention was crucial in preventing student dropouts, including among students with special needs, because it helps to identify their needs from the age of four to six.
According to Fadhlina, the quality of education in Malaysia is much better than in most other Southeast Asian countries due to the requirement for preschool teachers to hold a diploma in early childhood education.