LIPIS, Sept 24 -- The Ministry of Education (MOE) will be setting up a special committee to look into the education needs of the Orang Asli community.
Its minister Dr Maszlee Malik said among the matters the committee would be giving special attention to is improving the attendance record of Orang Asli students.
"The committee will also look into transportation and infrastructure as these could be contributing factors to the community's high drop out rate.
"We will bring on board agencies dealing in Orang Asli matters so that holistic solutions can be found,” he told reporters after opening the 2019 Orang Asli Education and Socioeconomic Colloquium at Institut Pendidikan Guru (IPG) Tengku Ampuan Afzan, Kuala Lipis here today.
He said the committee would also enlist higher education institutions and those involved in education development of the Orang Asli.
"Apart from setting up this committee, MOE will also open up more opportunities for Orang Asli to study at sports and arts schools besides access to TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) .
"The number of trainees at IPGs (teacher training institutes) involving the Orang Asli community will also be increased. Currently, 180 trainees from the community are studying at IPG Kampus Tengku Afzan while 80 IPG graduates have already been placed at Orang Asli schools throughout the country,” he said.
Maszlee also announced that the "special lane”initiative for Orang Asli students to pursue studies at public universities was showing results.
At the event. Maszlee also announced a grant of RM1 million for IPG Kampus Tengku Ampuan Azfan for conducting research on the education needs of the Orang Asli.
Meanwhile, commenting on a media report yesterday that 38 academic programmes at 19 public universities would be dropped, Maszlee said it would not affect the lecturers involved because they had wide knowledge and did not only depend on a specific course.
"This is also a good development and is the result of engagement between MOE and industry players who helped us develop curricula required by the job market,” he added.