The Covid-19 pandemic has been difficult for both students and teachers in Malaysia.
Despite formal schooling being brought online, not all students are able to participate given the lack of infrastructure and devices, especially the students in poorer and rural areas. This had then led to a number of students to quit school.
The former education minister Maszlee Malik had on Twitter said that he learned that as many as 21,316 students quit school since the Covid-19 pandemic started in the country, between March 2020 and July 2021.
“Please save my country and my people from the uncertainty of the future and decay under corrupt rulers.” he tweeted.
😭😭😭— Maszlee Malik 🏴🇲🇾 (@maszlee) December 5, 2021
Semenjak Mac 2020 sehingga Julai 2021 seramai 21,316 anak-anak telah berhenti sekolah!!!
Apakah yang telah berlaku kepada Malaysia???
Ya Allah selamatkanlah negara dan bangsaku dari ketidaktentuan masa hadapan dek kebobrokan para penguasa yang jadong 🤲 pic.twitter.com/EKtpKdB7gl
In his tweet, he also shared a reply from the Education Minister Mohd Radzi Jidin to Kangar MP Noor Amin Ahmad who asked how many children have stopped schooling since March 2020.
According to the Education Ministry, school dropouts are defined as those who have ceased their schooling before completing their education within the stipulated duration.
It is reported that a total of 11,301 students (0.24%) had quitted school from March to December 2020 and 10,015 students (0.21%) from January to July 2021.
In the comment section, netizens had expressed their concern and said the number of dropouts would impact the country in 10 years time.
A netizen also pointed out that the school system had been in a mess since the pandemic started.
Another netizen also blamed the Malaysian politicians for not doing anything to help the people.
Nonetheless, a quick glance in the comment section shows that among the reasons for students to dropout of school includes child and teen marriages, lack of internet access and financial constraint due to low salaries and high cost of living.
In early January, Maszlee has launched a public sponsorship programme named “Untuk Malaysia” to save students from dropping out of schools during the pandemic period.
Under this movement, Maszlee said he needed at least RM250 for each child every month and hoped they were able to help at least 1,000 children in the first stage.
Apart from channeling donations, Maszlee said the programme also trains volunteers and teachers before they help teach children to read, write and calculate.
However, it seems that this movement had not received enough funding and support to save all students.
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