(Stock image for illustration purposes) There is a need to conduct more studies or dialogues with the relevant parties to identify issues faced by the students, parents and families before the law being enforced. NSTP/SYARAFIQ ABD SAMAD

KUCHING: The proposal to make it mandatory for students to complete schooling from primary one to form five is a positive move since the country is heading towards becoming a developed nation.

The government and the society in general, however, must provide the support system to those from the low income families especially in the rural parts of Sarawak.

State Education Department director Dr Azhar Ahmad said locality of school, transportation and financial constraint were among the reasons contributed to school dropouts in the remote areas here.

He said there were families, who had no choice but to allow their children to work instead of continue their studies to secondary leave due to poverty.

“Some of the remote areas only have primary schools and the children have to stay at the hostel when they enter the secondary level.

“Otherwise, they have to endure a long journey to school everyday,” he said.

He said it was undeniable that certain parents and students were reluctant to stay at the boarding schools due to certain concerns.

“Compared to the urban areas, the rural areas recorded higher school dropout,” he told the reporters after a debate closing ceremony held here on Thursday.

Therefore, he said there is a need to conduct more studies or dialogues with the relevant parties to identify issues faced by the students, parents and families before the law being enforced.

A strong and effective support system, he said, should not be the responsibility of the government only.

It should be a collaboration and effort of the society for the betterment of the future generation, he said.

He was asked to comment on the move to review the Education Act that parents may be fined up to RM5,000 or six months imprisonment if their kids fail to complete form five.

Currently, the law states that students are only required to complete school until primary six.