Books for Asia in Malaysia
Since 1957, The Asia Foundation's Books for Asia program has donated 2.5 million books to Malaysia. With the reopening of the Foundation's office in Kuala Lumpur in 2005, the program has been reintroduced in underserved areas.
Status of Education in Malaysia
Malaysia's high literacy rate of 91.5 percent (men: 94 percent, women 89 percent) masks much lower rates among remote communities and ethnic populations with fewer resources in this country of 25.3 million. Recent government reforms require that math and science be taught in English in secondary school, making English language texts in these subject areas especially needed.
Books for Asia donates nearly 20,000 brand new books donated by American publishers annually to 677 primary and secondary schools in remote or underserved communities in Malaysia. Special emphasis is given to secondary schools in Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, and Trengganu; primary school children of plantation laborers in peninsular Malaysia; and pupils in Muslim boarding schools. The program reaches an estimated 100,000 students. English books and teaching materials are also provided to 14 regional teaching resource centers.