IPOH: Parents and guardians of stateless children are still not aware that there are opportunities for their kids to be enrolled in government schools, says Teo Nie Ching.
The Deputy Education Minister said stateless children can enrol in such schools, provided they have documentation to show that their father is a Malaysian.
“We believed that many parents and guardians are still unaware about it," she told a press conference after visiting SK Marian Convent here on Sunday (April 7).
She said parents and guardians of stateless children could also furnish birth certificates, or a court order to show that their children were born in Malaysia, adding that the government's goal is to provide education for everyone.
Teo also gave a thumbs-up over the Perak government’s effort in setting up a committee to help stateless children enrol in schools.
“I have not met with the committee yet, but I am thankful that they have made an effort to help stateless children get education.
"We hope that they will also help us to inform parents and guardians of stateless children about the opportunity to enrol their children in government schools,” she added.
On March 30, state Education Committee chairman Dr Abdul Aziz Bari announced the committee would conduct its pilot project in Gerik.
This enabled a stateless seven-year-old girl from Gerik to enrol in SK Ganda Temenggor, with the help of state government in January.
Teo was visiting SK Marion Convent, after a storm had damaged four classrooms in the school.
The accident, which occurred on March 30, had caused some 180 pupils to study in the school hall and library while waiting for repairs to be carried out.
“The ministry will contribute a total of RM100,000 to help with the school repairs, which will be completed within two weeks.
“We had no choice but to do it during school sessions. If we allowed the contractors to work only during weekends, it will take up to two months to get the job done.
“Safety measures will be taken during the repair works," she added.