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Keep them out of government schools
Published on: Saturday, December 29, 2018

Penampang: Penampang PKR Youth has raised concern about the Government's move to allow stateless children to enrol in schools beginning 2019, saying it will not only affect local students' access to school facilities and their learning process but also give rise to many socio-political problems.Its Deputy Chief Remysta Taylor said the issue of stateless individuals has been a pain for Sabah for decades and Sabahans do not want to see the Government making decisions which would make things worse.

"PKR Penampang Youth considers the move as a step backward in efforts to resolve the issue of stateless people in Sabah.

"The Education Ministry should realise that our people in Sabah have been burdened by this issue for decades. Why not implement policies which would assure us once and for all that this issue would finally be resolved.

"But instead of doing that, they're welcoming them into our schools. For what reason, we just don't know," he said.

He was commenting on Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik who had reportedly gave his assurance that the enrolment of stateless children in government schools would not affect the local children's educational opportunities and access to school facilities.

He had clarified that stateless children are those who not have identity documents but are the children of Malaysian citizens or one of their parents is a Malaysian.

Dr Maszlee had also said that the Ministry accepts such children on the condition that their parents submit a confirmation letter from the village head that the child is his or hers.

Earlier, Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri (PKAN) President Datuk Henrynus Amin also voiced opposition to the move saying that currently even local children hoping to be enrolled in some schools are turned away due to classrooms already bursting with up to 50 students in some.

Remysta said PKR Youth Penampang respects the right for every child to receive education as Malaysia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC).

"We have nothing against it. But at the same time we want to suggest to the ministry to keep them out from our government schools. Besides, all this time we have been kind enough to allow them to start their own schools. All the ministry should do is just to monitor and regulate. There's no need to reinvent the wheel," he said.

According to him, there is fear among the local population that the policy could be abused or exploited by irresponsible parties for their personal gain.

"Sabahans are fed up with having to cope with this issue. We have high hopes on the new Government to resolve it for good. Don't introduce a policy that will only perpetuate the fear and negative suspicion. It's not good for nation building," added Remysta.

The new school term for 2019 will start next week. - Leonard Alaza



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