HEALTHY AND WISE – DOES EDUCATION IMPROVE WELLBEING AMONG CITIZENS IN MALAYSIA?

Nadia Khan

Abstract


It is well known that education improves people’s earning prospects and their ability to contribute to the economy.  It is equally important to look at the non-financial outcomes of education. Internationally, there is evidence that, in developed countries, full participation in society and the labour market is linked to the capacity to accumulate knowledge and to develop and maintain a broad range of skills. Knowledge and skills are acquired through the education system. The Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey is a powerful tool that enables international comparisons as well as trend analysis. The most recent ALL Survey builds on International Adult Literacy Survey which was undertaken in 24 countries – including New Zealand – in 1996. Comparisons provide a picture of some of the changes that may have occurred, both nationally and internationally, over the previous decade. Some of the findings of the study by Lawes and Schagen suggest that education can provide improvements in wellbeing. The study indicates that there are positive relationships between both physical and mental and emotional wellbeing and each of education level, literacy skill and income. When controlling for factors such as gender, age and ethnicity, education level is positively related to New Zealanders’ assessment of their physical wellbeing but not to their assessment of their mental and emotional wellbeing. When controlling for level of literacy skill, or for level of literacy skill and income, education level is not related to New Zealanders’ assessment of either their physical or mental and emotional wellbeing.


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References


Lawes, E. & Schagen, I. (forthcoming) Analysis of Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey data to investigate relationships between education, age, income and wellbeing for New Zealand adults, Working Paper, Research Division, Wellington: Ministry of Education.

Ministry of Health (2008) A portrait of health: key results of the 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey, Wellington: Ministry of Health.

Ministry of Social Development (2007) The social report, Wellington: Ministry of Social Development.

Satherley, P. & Lawes, E. (2007) The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: an introduction, Wellington: Ministry of Education.

Satherley, P., Lawes, E. & Sok, S. (2008a) The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: overview and international comparisons, Wellington: Ministry of Education.

Satherley, P., Lawes, E. & Sok, S. (2008b) The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: education, work and literacy, Wellington: Ministry of Education.


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