The State Of Sabah's Education

The state of Sabah’s education is in a dire need of intervention. In a recent study done by the Education Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU) of the Ministry of Education - students results in Sabah show that they are performing way below national average and Sabah sits at the very bottom with the lowest scores in all subjects as seen in the image below. This is especially true in the rural districts of Kota Marudu, Pitas and Kudat - incidentally, these are also our areas of focus for the education initiatives that we carry out.

Additionally, this problem is accentuated by the lack of proper boarding facilities near schools for rural students to stay in. In rural Sabah, children and youth journey a long way to get to schools, some live as far as three hours away and getting to the nearest school on a daily basis is not an option - hence, boarding facilities such as student hostels are built.

What Is Starfish Doing

One of the goals at Starfish Malaysia Foundation is to elevate the literacy level of children and youth in rural Sabah to give them a greater chance for a brighter future. We do so by providing them with a safe, wholesome and conducive environment in our hostels for them to thrive in their studies.

Heeding this need, Starfish embarked on building our first hostel in 2014 at Kg Talantang, 20 minutes drive from Kota Marudu. This hostel is called Hostel Jasmine Talantang (HJT) with a capacity for 48 students. 

On top of that, with a partnership between the Protestant Church of Sabah (PCS), we have refurbished, renovated and jointly managed three secondary hostels. These hostels were in dire need of a revamp and Starfish's involvement beginning 2015 seeks to provide a better living environment with a wholesome program to build these students up.

Children and youth living in our hostels are given nutritious meals, additional tuition and holistic programs - on top of the love and care from our wardens. Graduating primary students can continue to other secondary school hostels with the help of our reference and graduating secondary school students will either continue in upper-secondary education and vocational training in Sabah or West Malaysia. We are committed to seeing our students succeed - from education to landing a job.

When it comes to developing and grooming the next generation, it takes a lot more than just good infrastructure. To ensure the wholesome development and growth of our students, we believe in strategic partnerships that contribute to the success of our hostels.

Current Hostels

  • Hostel Jasmine (Kota Marudu district)
  • Hostel Marigold (Pitas district) - in partnership with the Protestant Church of Sabah (PCS)
  • Hostel Rose (Kudat district) - in partnership with the PCS
  • Hostel Sunflower (Sikuati district) - in partnership with the PCS 
  • Hostel Lily (Pitas district)

We have currently in total more than 160 students spread across our 5 hostels. Each hostel has at least two wardens that oversee and provide care to the students.

Partner With Us

If you would like to contribute to this project, do contact us below