‘Solve problem of education among stateless children, address issue with Federal govt’

Irene Chang

SIBU, Feb 4: The policy that requires stateless children to produce a passport to enrol in school would only many cause undocumented children in the country to be again deprived of education as in the previous BN days.

Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang in a statement today said such policy was also a regressive step by the current government.

It would also have a detrimental effect, both physically and psychologically on the children concerned.

Already she had received a few calls from concerned guardians and adoptive parents in Sarawak concerning the latest policy.

“A few who thought that their children had already been “successfully enrolled” and who have been participating in “online studies” in government schools since the reopening of the school year have now been

informed by the schools that their “enrolment” could not be approved after all,” she said.

“I, therefore, urge Dato Seri Fatimah Abdullah (Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister and Sarawak State Government to officially communicate with the

Education Ministry and the Federal Government to speak up on behalf of the stateless children in the state,” she appealed.

She wanted the government should continue with the “Zero rejection policy” which was implemented under the Pakatan Harapan Government.

The “Zero rejection policy” was a policy which aimed to ensure that all children in the country, including undocumented children and those with special needs, would have access to education.

Under the policy, the applicants of the undocumented child concerned only had to produce any one of the following documents to be accepted into the government schools: 1) a birth certificate 2) a guardianship order 3) an Adoption Certificate.

They also had to show a connection with a Malaysian and that efforts have been made to apply for citizenship under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution.

In 2019, it was reported that this policy under the Pakatan Harapan government had enabled at least 2,635 undocumented children in Malaysia to enrol in public schools in that year. -DayakDaily