Government to simplify registration process for stateless pupils

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KUCHING: Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching says the ministry will simplify the registration process for pupils without citizenship to enrol in government schools.

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

“If they do not have these documents, they can get verification from the community leaders or their people’s representatives,” she told reporters after officiating a ceremony for the Gate of Alumni at SMJK Kuching High here today.

Children without citizenship but with one parent who is a Malaysian citizen and has a birth certificate would also be allowed to register at government schools, she said.

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.

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

Teo said the main reason these children did not have citizenship was because their parents had not registered 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 jobs later on in life.

According to former home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, she said, there were 300,000 children aged 18 and below without citizenship in 2016.

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