Over 300 Orang Asli kids persuaded to attend school, says deputy minister

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 373 Orang Asli children have been persuaded to attend school, in 15 schools nationwide, up to May this year, according to Deputy Education Minister Lim Hui Ying.

She said that the Education Ministry has implemented the ‘Jom Belajar’ (Let's Learn), a special programme for Orang Asli students (ProKhas) and ‘Chup Badui Sikulah’ (CBS), to give access to basic education to Orang Asli children who live in rural areas and have never attended school.

"The ministry has always given serious attention to the issue of school dropout among Orang Asli children, which is caused by the poor living standards in the interior, lack of educational infrastructure and logistics facilities.

"One of the approaches taken by the ministry in dealing with the issue of Orang Asli school dropout is to hold engagement sessions and Ziarah kasih, together with the Orang Asli community in the villages," she said, in response to a question from Tan Kar Hing (PH-Gopeng) about efforts to resolve the issue of dropout of Orang Asli children.

Lim said that ministry is also working with the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to identify Orang Asli children who should be in the education system but are not attending school.

She also said that ministry has expanded the Comprehensive Special Model School Year 9 (K9) and the Comprehensive Special Model School Year 11 (K11) in an effort to address the issue of the attendance of Orang Asli students who live far inland and in remote areas.

Meanwhile, Lim said that the ministry always strives to ensure that students have devices to support the implementation of teaching and learning (PdP) which use digital technology while reducing the digital divide.

"Nevertheless, this effort depends on the government's financial capacity, and at the same time, the ministry works with strategic partners from various government and private agencies to accelerate the ownership of devices among students,” she said.

She said that the initiatives under the four cores of the Digital Education Policy (DPD), launched on Nov 28, focused on providing access to digital devices for every student, through various mechanisms.

She was replying to the question from Datuk Abdul Khalib Abdullah (PN-Rompin) as to whether the ministry has specific plans to speed up the adaptation of digitalisation in the national education ecosystem.

DPD consists of six cores, namely producing digital-savvy students; having digitally-competent educators; visionary digital leadership culture; improving infrastructure and infostructure; having digital education content and committed strategic partners.- Bernama

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