Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Gender and Educational Performance: The Malaysian Perspectives

Dr Zalizan Jelas, Hazadiah M. Dahan.

The purpose of this presentation is to outline the gender differences in academic performance from primary through university in the Malaysian education system. National Examination results at age 12, 15 and 17 in 1996-2000 have shown that girls perform better than boys across almost all school subjects and enrolment of male and female students at university levels have also shown that the percentage of female students have increased to 56 in 1999 as compared to 50 in 1996. The nature of these differences will be examined and some of the underlying factors behind these differential achievements are considered. Girls seem to do better on sustained tasks that require memorising abstract, unambiguous facts and rules; boys are more responsive to open-ended and related to practical and realistic situations that require them to think for themselves. An analysis of the approaches towards creating a context for achievement of both girls and boys is offered, with a focus on pedagogic, organisational and socio-cultural strategies. Further research is needed to explore the nature of male and female anxiety about learning/schooling and its consequences for academic performance and to develop whole-school approaches to intervention strategies.


Dr Zalizan Jelas  (Malaysia)
Faculty of Education,
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Zalizan is currently Dean, Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She obtained her Doctorate in Education (Special Ed) from George Washington University. She served as UNESCO’s consultant in special needs teacher education programs in Mongolia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. She has published in international and local journals and was a member of the International Review Panel of Educational Review. Her current research interests are in inclusive education, teacher education, teachers/parents views on inclusive practices, and gender differences in education.

Hazadiah M. Dahan  (Malaysia)

  • Gender
  • Achievement
  • Education
  • Study skills

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)