Ministry to allow stateless kids into national schools

Kuching: The Education Ministry will simplify the registration process for pupils without citizenship into government schools, said Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.

He said in a meeting held last week, the ministry decided that children without citizenship need only produce their birth certificates, adoption papers or court order to register in government schools.

“If they do not have these documents, they can get verification from the community leaders or their people’s representatives,” he told reporters after officiating a ceremony for the Gate of Alumni at Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan (SMJK) Kuching High, here, Friday.

He said in the case of children without citizenship but one parent is a Malaysian citizen and has a birth certificate, they will be allowed to register into government schools.

The new conditions will be used for the school session in January next year and the students will be allowed to sit for public examinations like UPSR, SPM and STPM, Teo said.

“The move is because the Government wants to provide formal education to all children,” he said, adding that the parents had up to two years to provide the necessary documents.

Teo said the main reason these children did not have citizenship status was because their parents did not register their marriages before the children were born.

He said the parents must apply for Malaysian citizenship certificates for their children so that they can get proper education and get jobs later.

He added that according to the then Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahidi, in 2016 there were 300,000 children without citizenship in the country, aged 18 years and younger

Teo said the question of fees had not yet been discussed.

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