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Political Independence And Educational Opportunity In Peninsular Malaysia

Prior to the Independence of Peninsular Malaysia (Malaya) in 1957, there had been a general rise in educational achievement across cohorts, but On!)' slight moderation in educational inequalities between sexes, ethnic communities, and regions. But for cohorts who experienced part or all of their schooling after Independence, there has been a very rapid growth in both educational achievement and equality. Most of the reduction in inequality appears to be due to greater accessibility of primary schooling and increased mobility from primary to secondary schools. While the findings remain tentative because most of the post-Independence cohorts were still in the midst of their educational careers at the time of data collection in 1970, 1 conclude that the policies of the independent government led to a substantial reduction in educational disparities. The analysis is based upon data from the 1970 Census of Population of Peninsular Malaysia.

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