Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people because they belong to a particular group including but not limited to race, gender and religion.
Children who experience discrimination are more likely to struggle with poorer self-esteem, mental health and poor academic motivation. Despite being a pervasive issue in Malaysia, discrimination in education has been under addressed by the government, civil society and members of the public as a policy issue.
As Malaysians, we are concerned with the direction of ethno-religious integration of the country.
Over the decades, our national institutions have lost its capacity to fulfill its aspiration as a melting pot of Malaysians of different backgrounds. Discrimination in education is commonly referred to as a source of self-segregation, where parents prefer to send their children to homogenous institutions. Even in situations where schools are diverse, discriminations can form a cleavage between students of different backgrounds, hindering the full capacity for national schools to become melting pots.
A movement to combat identity-based discrimination in education, the first of its kind in Malaysia.
Sekolah Semua is campaign that advocates for anti-discrimination policies in schools, colleges and universities in Malaysia. We do this by platforming voices of victims, conducting research and analysis on identity-based discrimination in education, as well as study and recommend policies and best practices to our national institutions.
We are working towards taking the anti-discrimination advocacy to the next level. We are conducting roundtables with policymakers and civil society partners to increase agenda pressure, as well as continuing research on the impact and extent of discrimination in education. Our campaign is also training the next generation of students as anti-discrimination champions and human rights defenders.
In this report, we explore the ontology, characteristics and policy issues of one of the largest challenges to fulfilling Malaysia's aspirations of a united country: discrimination in education. We discuss the role of education in national unity, the impact of discrimination in education, anti-discrimination frameworks, reviewing complaint mechanisms, victim protection and accountability measures, as well as recommendations to all stakeholders.