Kicking off 2019 with an op-ed in The Star on the Malaysian Ministry of Education’s recent move to reclaim the spirit of Fully Residential Schools (Sekolah Berasrama Penuh-SBP) by prioritising admissions for students from the Bottom-40 (B40) income bracket. I applied a postcolonial lens to make sense of the mission drift that has taken place since the inception of SBPs, and comment on the perception of meritocracy by middle-class families.
I attended a SBP throughout my secondary school education, sequestered in a sleepy little town in the northeastern part of Selangor. For a thirteen year old wading into adolescence it could be tough, but I didn’t feel too cut off from my family, as they lived less than an hour away at that time. However, being in such an isolated environment left me with little else to do but study; I suppose the intent of these fully residential schools is exactly to engineer such industriousness!
One of my aims throughout this PhD is to find avenues to write about the theories I am learning and reading about, applied to education developments around the world, and written in accessible language.
I am also in the process of crafting a book chapter on postcolonial theory with 2 other PhD friends from my department, due by the start of March. Here’s to a productive month of collaborative writing!
To cite this article:
Aizuddin, M. A. (2019, January 12). Making room for the poor in government residential schools. The Star, 24.