Exploring Multiliteracies and Social Practices of the Orang Asli Children in Perak

Renganathan, Sumathi and Chong, Su Li (2010) Exploring Multiliteracies and Social Practices of the Orang Asli Children in Perak. Report Submitted to the Educational Planning and Research Division, Ministry of Education.

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The Education Ministry strongly believes that emphasis on education will ensure the improvement of quality of life for the Orang Asli. However, although data from the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (2005) shows an increase in the enrollment of Orang Asli children in schools, the number of dropout rate is still very high. What this may imply is that while much effort is put in to encourage school-going within this community, there still appears to be a bigger challenge in terms of keeping these children in school. As such, this research set out to uncover what this challenge could be. This report presents the findings from a research carried out in an Orang Asli school, Sekolah Kebangsaan Suak Padi, in Perak.

This study was an ethnographic based study carried out from January 2009 to December 2009 with the aim of exploring literacy as a social practice among the Orang Asli students. Adopting the multiliteracies framework designed by the New London Group (NLG), this research looked at the multiple forms of literacy among the Orang Asli students in their school. Consequently, possible factors which could contribute to the poor academic performances of the Orang Asli children were identified. Findings from this research suggest that one of the main reasons for the high dropout rate could be related to how schools are positioned in the Orang Asli community in that there appears to be a discontinuity in the educational needs within the Orang Asli community. Expectation and practices encouraged in the school are different from what is experienced at home. Practices fundamental for success in schooling such as reading and writing are not seen to be supported by the children’s home environment and their daily social practices at home. Furthermore, this research indicates that the teacher-parent communication could still be increased so that there could be greater understandings of cultural differences and better grasps of the sincere intentions of all parties. From this research, links between learning in schools and learning at home are advocated so as to address why Orang Asli children do poorly in formal schooling environment.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Departments / MOR / COE: Departments > Management & Humanities
Depositing User: Dr Sumathi Renganathan
Date Deposited: 27 Dec 2010 03:10
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2014 11:05
URI: http://scholars.utp.edu.my/id/eprint/3413

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