KUCHING: The Education Ministry will simplify the registration process for pupils without citizenship into government schools, Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said.
She said 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 today.
She said in the case of children without citizenship but one parent was a Malaysian citizen and had 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,” she 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.
She said the parents must apply for Malaysian citizenship certificates for their children so that they can get proper education and get jobs later.
Citing previous figures, she said former Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahidi had in 2016, stated that 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.
Meanwhile, she said the ministry agreed that starting next year, it would publish teaching and learning materials in Mandarin and Tamil to meet the needs of students with special needs.