Stateless children can rejoice because they are now able to enrol into national (government) schools starting January 2019, just like any other normal kid. YAS!
According to Deputy Minister of Education Teo Nie Ching, enrolling stateless children into national schools was a difficult feat because of the different kinds of documents that they were required to produce, reported The Borneo Post. Therefore, Teo shared that the education ministry wants to simplify the registering process of stateless children into national schools so that they can have access to education.
She said that stateless children only need to produce their birth certificates to be enrolled in national schools up to secondary schools, in the future. Even if they don’t have a citizenship yet, these kids will still be able to register for school.
Speaking at a press conference after the opening ceremony of the Gate of Alumni of SMJK (C) Kuching High, Teo said,
“We will also allow them to sit for public exams such as Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM).”
Teo further added that adopted children who are stateless can produce their adoption certificates or court orders if they want to be enrolled in school. She noted that accepted documents also include authentication from the village head or the people representatives.
That said, stateless children without any sort of documents are required to produce the important papers within the span of two years if they want to be registered for a national school. So, parents are urged to take initiatives to produce the required documents.
In the meantime, when asked about the number of stateless children in Malaysia, Teo said that there were 300,000 stateless children who are below 18 years old. The number she gave was based on the statistics given by the previous Home Minister Datuk Sri Zahid, two years ago.
Apart from that, she revealed that one of the main reasons that there are many stateless children is because parents didn’t register their children after they were born.
“Our school will open the door to you so that this group of stateless children will be able to enrol into the government schools because we believe schools are the right place for our children,” she added.
Well, isn’t this news music to our ears!
It’s great that more children, especially stateless children, are given the right to a proper education. Hopefully, the parents of the stateless children will take the necessary measures to ensure that their kids will be registered into a school next year.
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