The Road Map is now available for all Malaysians (and the rest of the world) to read and assess: it is specific in the relevant parts, and the government has stated its commitments and promises…and put its proverbial ass on the line. Go read it, if only to measure the results when the report card comes in early next year.
On a related front, it is interesting to see other countries’ thoughts on efforts to eradicate poverty. This Op-Ed piece by the New York Times have this to say:
Here’s a peek at some of the interventions that seem to make a difference (and there are many more):
• High-quality early childhood programs, before kids get behind. Much-studied examples include the Perry Preschool program in Michigan in the 1960s and the Abecedarian Project in North Carolina in the 1970s. Both worked with impoverished children who had much better outcomes than control groups. For example, those who had been through the Perry program were — as adults, decades later — only half as likely to go on welfare and much less likely to be arrested.
• Intensive efforts in the ninth grade (which is well known as education’s Bermuda triangle, swallowing up poor students). A program called Talent Development in Philadelphia gave ninth graders a double dose of math and English and reduced absenteeism and significantly improved performance for at least the next couple of years. Tentative results suggest it is also improving high school graduation rates.
• Career academies. These keep students engaged in high school by teaching around career themes and partnering with local employers to give kids work experience. Eight years of follow-up research suggests that graduates are more likely to hold jobs and earn more money.
• Jobs programs. One of the most successful is the “jobs-plus” demonstration, which trains people living in public housing to get jobs and gives them extra incentives to keep them. Participants thrive — and the gains continue even years later, after the program ends.
I would say the GTP Road Map covers most of the above. Specifically, one of the GTP-Education thrusts will be to try to get all pre-Darjah 1 kids to pre-schools. Another thrust is to get poor household members into relevant jobs or income-generation programs.