KUALA LUMPUR: The National Parent-Teacher Association collaborative council has asked the government to study what causes secondary students to drop out of school before taking action against them such as imposing fines or jail terms.
Its president Associate Prof Dr Mohamad Ali Hassan said a detailed investigation needed to be carried out to find a solution to the problem in collaboration with district education offices.
"There are several things that cause them (students) to refuse to go to school, one of them is because of family poverty or they think that secondary-level education will not help them in the future when they are in the workforce.
"This group and their parents as well as guardians should be given counselling," he told Bernama recently.
On March 22, Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek was reported to have said that legal action against parents whose children drop out of secondary school education was not the only solution.
The Education Ministry had reportedly submitted a draft proposal to make secondary-level education compulsory to the Attorney General's Chambers.
Mohamad Ali said he welcomed the proposal but the government should facilitate the underprivileged to go to school in terms of school fees, school supplies, daily allowances and hostels.
Meanwhile, Rosnita Mohd Zaki, 45, a mother of two children said she supported the ministry’s move to make secondary education compulsory as this allows the students to enter the workforce easily.
"They will be more mature and have better job opportunities with a secured future," she said.
Housewife, Norzawani Abdul Latiff, 39, said to tackle the dropout issue among students the government should provide free education, especially at the primary and secondary levels.
"Going to school requires so much money...not everyone can afford it... but if education is free with all the help available, then it is appropriate to take legal action against parents who refuse to send their children to school," she added. - Bernama