KUCHING: Stateless children in the country will now have the opportunity to be enrolled into the national schools beginning Jan 2019.
Deputy Minister of Education Teo Nie Ching said that the different kinds of documents required had posed great challenge in enrolling stateless children into the country education system.
As a result, she said that the ministry is seeking to simplify the process in registering the stateless children so that they can enrol into the national schools and receive education.
She said that stateless children will now be able to be enrolled up to secondary schools in the future by merely producing their birth certificates even if they have not been granted citizenships.
“We will also allow them to sit for public exams such as Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM),” she said at a press conference after the opening ceremony of the Gate of Alumni of SMJK (C) Kuching High here today.
In cases where the children are adopted or have no birth certificates, she said that court orders or certificates of adoption can be produced to enrol them to the national schools.
“By producing one of the three documents namely birth certificates, court orders or certificates of adoption, it will be enough for the stateless children to be enrolled into the national school.”
“If the children really do not have any documents, then they need the authentication from the village head or the people representatives.”
However, the stateless children without any documents will need to furnish the required documents within two years as the parents are encouraged to do what is necessary for their children.
“You cannot live in Malaysia without any kinds of documents and parents should take up the initiatives to furnish the required documents within two years.”
“There were 300,000 stateless children in the country who were below the age of 18 based on the statistic given by then home minister Datuk Sri Zahid two years ago,” she answered when asked on the number of stateless children in the country.
She explained that the main cause of having such so many stateless children in the country was due to the parents not registering their marriage before the children 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.