Malaysian's Education Divide


Education policies in Malaysia have been a contentious issue even since pre-Independence days. This has always involved matters of both diversity and inequality, which correspond to the different fault-lines of culture and class. While many have lamented on how the cultural-linguistic division has affected national cohesion, one should argue that, while the communal division is real, we are fundamentally dealing with the issue of class.

Class matters

Inequality exists in every society, but the level of education received can intensify or mitigate it by changing the individual’s skill level and earning ability, and subsequently his or her socioeconomic status.

This is called social upward mobility. If education can provide a society with high social upward mobility, hope is provided for the poor, mitigating not only inter-generational transmission of inequality but also socio-political instability.

It will also increase society's overall wealth because randomly distributed talents can be optimally cultivated. This allows more wealth to be shared through provision of public goods or even handouts, thus reducing poverty and inequality.

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Related Articles

Apr 2013

Is Malaysia prepared? The ASEAN economic community is at hand

The foundation of the plan has been laid. But is Malaysia ready for actual Asean economic integration and what do we have to gain from it?

Oct 2016

A Revolution in Science Education is Upon Us

While our schools may be found lacking when it comes to science and tech education, several impassioned groups in Penang are working hard to create a vibrant landscape with STEM programmes and cool equipment open to kids from all walks of life.