Kedap programme enhanced to address Orang Asli school dropouts

KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry will strengthen the implementation of the Adult Class for Orang Asli and Penan Parents (Kedap) initiative as a continuous effort to address the problem of dropouts among Orang Asli children.

Its minister Fadhlina Sidek (pic) said that Kedap has long been implemented by the ministry for Orang Asli parents to enable them to help with their children’s learning at home after school hours.

She said the initiative helped to improve mastery of the 3M skills among the community - namely reading, writing and counting.

"The participation of parents through Kedap is amazing, the class records full attendance. This situation will help reduce the gap in capability between the Orang Asli students and ordinary students.

"The implementation of the initiative will be further strengthened in terms of attracting more parents to participate in KEDAP classes," she told Bernama when appearing as a guest on the Bernama TV Ruang Bicara programme "New Dimensions of Malaysian Education," which was broadcast on Friday (Dec 30) night.

The Kedap initiative was introduced by the ministry in 2008 with the aim of reducing the illiteracy rate among the Orang Asli and Penan communities in Malaysia.

Bernama, in a series of special reports, revealed that the problem of dropouts among the Orang Asli children is attributed to several factors, such as the poor living standards in the interior, the lack of educational infrastructure and perfect logistical facilities.

According to Fadhlina, education involving the Orang Asli has always been the focus of the ministry before and after the pandemic and it is carried out continuously.

She said various intervention measures have been taken by the ministry so that the community would not be left out, including establishing a close working relationship with the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) to manage the welfare of the Orang Asli community.

"The issue of infrastructure and learning facilities in Orang Asli schools and dilapidated schools in the country, especially in the interior of Sabah and Sarawak, is also the focus of the ministry for improvement,” she said.

Meanwhile, in another development, Fadhlina said the names of the members of the National Education Advisory Council are expected to be announced in the middle of next month.

She said the main focus of the council is to examine the issue of the workload borne by teachers, including clerical duties, which has become a critical issue among educators in the country.

Apart from that, she said, the council's function is to contribute ideas and views to the ministry in formulating and improving the direction of the country's education.

"The issue of teachers being burdened with duties other than their actual duties, issues on their welfare are a priority for the ministry to address," she said.

Prior to this, Fadhlina announced that the council had been reactivated as provided under the Education Act 1996 to contribute ideas and views in formulating and improving the direction of the country's education.

She said the council is made up of stakeholders in the field of education such as activists, teachers, former teachers and academicians. - Bernama

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education , Orang Asli , KEDAP , MOE , Fadhlina Sidek


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