Opinion

Study anthropology, not convert the Orang Asli

Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | Those entrusted with the nation’s Education must study anthropology instead of trying to convert the Orang Asli. This is what I call “Poverty-of-Local Knowledge Syndrome”. The Ministry of Education, especially, needs to work harder understanding the link between education and cultural preservation while assisting with the sustainable progress of the indigenous peoples.

We are hearing reports of the children of Orang Asli dropping out of school and the Ministry of Education is merely lamenting about it. But why the high drop out rate? There is perhaps the main explanation: Because schools are based on Ketuanan Melayu-Islam Hegemony and meaningless to their reality. If you want children to stay in school, make the place exciting. Learn this from marketing and customer loyalty. Work hard, those in the relevant ministries!

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