Malay Educational Gaps 2011 – Beyond Persistence

The latest PSLE and GCE O Level metrics released by the Ministry of Education in a press release dated 29 Oct 2012 shows more worrying signs for the Malay-Muslim community. This lends further support to my earlier argument that the gaps between the Malay-Muslim community and other students are widening or stagnating, thus calling for a fundamental rethink.

Looking at the metrics for PSLE maths, the 2011 chart shows a dip in the educational performance of Malay students. In contrast, there is an improvement in the Indian line:

Turning to PSLE Science, the performance of Malay students in 2011 shows a marked dip:

Overall, there is a slight dip in performance of Malay students overall:

The upshot is this – it is clear that the educational performance of Malay students in PSLE has worsened relative to their peers.

The gaps are not just persistent. They are widening.

It is time for the community and its leaders to accept that we have reached a critical point. This calls for a fundamental rethink of the way we frame the problem and the way we have approached intervention. It is time for a sea change, now, more than ever. Let us not delude ourselves that the community has in fact progressed.

We will do our children, and their children, a gross disservice.


2 thoughts on “Malay Educational Gaps 2011 – Beyond Persistence

  1. The dip seems to parallel the rise in income inequality in Singapore. It would be interesting to determine if the difference between the races can be explained entirely by the differences in household income. I suspect that if you superimpose the graphs of household income and time for the different ethnic groups (from Singstat for example), you will see the correlation.

    • Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your comments. I have seen charts showing a direct correlation between educational attainment and socio-economic standing. These charts, are however, not published. It was clear from the charts that children of 4-room HDB flats do better in school than the 3-roomers. I agree with your observation that the dip in Maths and Science could be a function of widening income gap – though it is hard to verify that objectively from publicly available data.

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