Darshana gets to go to school, and so will other stateless kids

SEREMBAN: Non-citizens and stateless children who were unable to enrol in government schools at the beginning of the new term last week will be able to do so in the next few days.

An official announcement will be made soon, said G.K. Anandan, manager of the Special Implementation Task Force at the Prime Minister’s Department.

“We are working on a permanent solution – it is taking some time as there are several government agencies such as the Immigration, National Registration and Education departments involved in this,” he said when met at the state Education Department here on Thursday.

Anandan, who is also special officer to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, assured parents and guardians that the Government was committed to ensuring all children had access to basic education.

He said that Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahadzir Khalid, during a post-

Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (Jan 10), had also said that such children should be given some leeway to register in government schools after the matter was raised by his deputy Datuk P. Kamalanathan.

Some children had been barred from studying at public schools following a new directive by the Immigration Department that those who come under the “non-citizen” category must produce passports before they could be allowed to enrol in a government school.

The new directive was sent out to all state education departments in a circular dated Dec 28, 2017.

Earlier, Anandan assisted seven-year-old G. Darshana to register at the state Education department here.

Darshana’s parents, B. Ganesan 46 and V. Malliga 48, first took her in as a baby in November 2011 and legally adopted her in 2014.

They had been unable to enrol her in a government school as she had been categorised a non-citizen.

Anandan said there were many cases of children like Darshana who had been unable to register in government schools as they were non-citizens.

“Just like Darshana, we will help other children in a similar predicament,” he added. 

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