These kids can enrol in schools
Published on: Friday, January 11, 2019
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KOTA KINABALU: Undocumented children whose parents are citizens can enrol in public schools, said Sabah Education Director Mistirine Radin.

She said parents or guardians of the children can make their application by filling up the Citizen Student Without Documents (MWTD) forms in the respective District Education Offices.

“The forms must be verified by the village chiefs in the place where they reside,” she said after a courtesy call on Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, at the Istana Negeri, here, Thursday.

“Should the parents face any problem to enrol such children, they can meet the respective District Education Officers.

“Most importantly parents or guardians must fill the MWTD forms as part of the documentation for their children.”

In October, last year, it was reported that the Federal Education Ministry will simplify the registration process for pupils without citizenship in government schools.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said the Ministry decided that children without citizenship need only produce their birth certificates, adoption papers or court order to register in public schools. If they do not have these documents, they can get verification from the community leaders or their people’s representatives.

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 in government schools.

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

Parents, he said, 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.

It was also reported that in 2016, there were 300,000 children without citizenship in the country, aged 18 years and younger.

Meanwhile, Mistrine said, the department will conduct more outreach programmes in all districts to give talks to parents on sending their children to school.

Several groups and political parties expressed concern over allowing undocumented children in government schools – especially where both parents are foreigners – as most schools are now packed to capacity. They said by right the Government’s obligation should be to fulfil the needs of its own citizens first.


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