Another issue regarding education is the availability of and access to the actual schools themselves. The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia reported last week that there has been an increase in the number of indigenous children who were truant during the 2010 school year (for the age bracket of 7 to 12 year old). While children across the globe are often relied on to work and therefore cannot attend school, one of the major issues in Malaysia is the distance of the school from the villages. Some students would have to travel significant distances daily to attend school, and since it is so far, they choose not to. There are living options available at some schools for those who live far away, but often parents are not willing to let their children live there, due to potential safety concerns, as well as the amount of time taken away from being with their families. The article quotes Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah, a human rights activist, saying that the government is supposed to provide transportation for those students living a great distance from the nearest school, but that their transportation often does not show up.
There are several other social issues related to the topic of this article. Children who do not attend school are more likely to experience poverty in adulthood (Gooch, 2012). This is a problem as we have discussed in class this week because social mobility is very limited, especially in countries like Malaysia. Those who do not receive an education are basically denied the possibility of moving up the social ladder. There is also the issue of the government trying to move the indigenous people from their ancestral land in the interior of Malaysia to areas closer to the existing schools. This is an issue of human rights and governmental interference because the government is not willing to create schools closer to areas where the indigenous children that are missing school are located.
Gooch, Liz. "Indigenous Malaysians Miss School, Agency Finds - NYTimes.com." The New York Times. N.p., 9 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 Sept. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/world/asia/10iht-educmalay10.html?_r=1&ref=internationaleducation>.