Health and Education for Vulnerable Children

Excluded and invisible children

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Primary education

© UNICEF Malaysia/2007/Mohan

Supplementary reading program
The Supplementary Reading Program (SRP) was initiated by the Ministry of Education and UNICEF to ensure that the children from vulnerable communities have the learning resources required for quality education. The SRP provides reading materials of different levels and genre, to cater for students of different learning needs, stages and abilities.

In 2007 and 2008, 13,000 students from 90 schools in Sabah and Sarawak have benefited from the enrichment materials and remedial activities carried out under the SRP. Students have attended reading camps, story-telling competitions, spelling bees and field trips.

Orang Asli folklores in education curriculum
Children from the Orang Asli community, mostly living in rural and poor areas, have been left behind in receiving quality education, compared to their urban counterparts. Absenteeism and dropout rates remain a huge issue among the children of this community. Statistics show that 34% of these pupils failed to make it to the secondary level while 46% failed to reach Form Five.

In 2007, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education Curriculum Development Centre piloted a program incorporating Orang Asli folklore to encourage school attendance of children from these communities. In addition to producing curriculum, teacher’s training and student learning activities were developed to improve student’s reading and writing skills, while promoting local heritage and cultural knowledge. The program is expanded in 2008.

Remedial education for Orang Asli children
In 2006 and 2007, UNICEF worked with the Ministry of Education to complement existing activities in support of education for Malaysia’s Orang Asli children, historically burdened with low school achievement and high drop-out rates.

Over the past eight years from 1999, these children have been provided with special remedial classes in literacy and numeracy. In 2006, enjoyable learning activities were developed. Training for teachers and school administrators on special approaches towards Orang Asli children, focusing on inclusive learning environments and tailored grading systems, was developed in 2007.






A Human Rights-Based Approach to Education for All, 2007. Read

Education in a human right - Resources

  • Need for education
  • Legal frameworks
  • Action ideas


  • Literacy & education
  • UNICEF program

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