Education in city vs. rural areas

I was playing with some Malaysians data from, a public sector open data portal which aims to provide quality data on the citizens. Currently there are over 12,000 datasets in a variety of clusters ranging from education, agriculture, environment, health etc. Here’s a snapshot.


I browsed through the education datasets (currently has 1,382) and downloaded one of the datasets since it’s the most recent one which is on number of students enrolled in government’s primary public schools as at June 2017 in city and rural areas. The data is not split by states, so I can only assess the number of students enrolled in the city vs. rural.

Anyway, interestingly, the proportion of students enrolled in the city and rural is balanced, i.e. close to 50:50. I always thought that we have more students in the rural areas than the city. But I guess it also depends on what they constitute as city (i.e. bandar) and there may be others that are not part of the equation, i.e. kids that do not go to schools. I’m going to refer to City as Bandar and Rural as Luar Bandar as defined by the data available. 

2nd interesting fact is that the proportion of students enrolled in Kebangsaan schools vs. Kebangsaan Chinese in Bandar vs. Luar Bandar. As the chart below shows, out of the total students that go to Kebangsaan schools, 60% of them are in Luar Bandar while only 29% of students that go to Kebangsaan Chinese schools are in Luar Bandar. I’m ignoring Kebangsaan Tamil schools for now as the story is similar in both Bandar and Luar Bandar.

data source:

Why do we always encounter the perception the income level of Chinese is higher than the rest of Malaysians? Not just in business, but also in education. Or it seems to be a fact given that 70% of B40 are the bumiputeras. I know I may be generalizing as the kids who go to Kebangsaan schools are of multi-racial but I can bet you that Malays dominate them.

Can we have more data from the Kebangsaan schools please?


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