PUTRAJAYA: A total of 10,948 special needs students have enrolled in schools since the Education Ministry launched the "Zero Reject Policy" in January.
The "Zero Reject Policy" ensures that all children in the country, including those with special needs and undocumented children, will have access to education.
Besides boosting enrolments of special needs students, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik (pic) said the ministry also enabled 2,635 undocumented children (to date) to gain access to education in mainstream schools.
"We also managed to get 262 secondary school dropouts to enroll back into school through our Program Perintis Sifar Murid Cicir (PSMC).
"This shows our commitment to children. They have a right to education, whoever they are and wherever they come from," he said, adding that no child will be left behind under Pakatan Harapan's governance.
Dr Maszlee also said that the ministry is also in the midst of fixing dilapidated schools.
"There were 394 projects in 2018, where 301 were issued Certificates of Practical Completion (CPC) and 93 more are in various stages of completion. Another 107 are in progress (of getting fixed) and would likely be completed at the end of this year," he said.
He added that schools in opposition-led states such as Sarawak would not be sidelined.
Dr Maszlee was speaking during the ministry's monthly gathering here on Tuesday (May 7) where he elaborated on the ministry's nine core successes achieved over the past year.
He credited all the achievements made so far to civil servants working with the ministry.
"I love you 3,000! Thank you for not giving up and for continuously doing your best for the country," he said.
Other than the three core successes mentioned, the remaining six include helping B40 students, teachers' welfare, boosting credibility of higher-learning institutions, cultivating higher cooperation in higher-learning institutions, focusing on technical and vocational skills (TVET) education, and improving literacy of language, culture, and literature.
Dr Maszlee said he was especially focused on teachers' welfare.
Describing teachers as the "main agents of change" of the country, he said the ministry has come up with five initiatives and nine interventions to lighten teachers' workload, since the beginning of 2019.
He hoped that with the initiatives in place, teachers would be able to return to their core job, which is to teach and not be bogged down by unnecessary work.
"In addition to these five initiatives, the ministry has also identified several long-term initiatives involving more complex issues that require a review of existing policies and regulations, improvements in infrastructure and optimising job and human resources at schools," he said.
"These include working time, Internet access at the schools, information system integration, the role of administrators and members of the implementing group and the allocations of teachers at the schools," he said, adding that the ministry has also been working on improving a teacher's image by strengthening the role of school inspectors.