KUALA LUMPUR: The government is in the process to amend the legislation to include children without documents to study at public schools, says Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek.
Fadhlina said the amendment would be made into the Act to accept registration of children without documents, children who were not Malaysian citizens, children with citizenship status in progress into public schools and Sekolah Bantuan Kerajaan, schools funded by the government.
She said the amendment would involve the Education Regulations (Admission of Pupils to School, Keeping Registers and Conditions for Keeping Pupils Studying at School) 1998.
"The ministry realising the urgency of the issue which needed new guidelines to address the matter in principle so the ministry is in the process to amend the Education Act to expand the admission of children into public schools and Sekolah Bantuan Kerajaan.
"The amendment will ensure access for education for all children in the country based on the existing regulations without compromising the sovereignty of the country," she said during her winding-up speech of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) report for Education Ministry at the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (June 14).
The existing laws stipulated for children who were citizens or those who were non-citizens who were children of diplomats; parents who were not citizens working at government agencies or possessing a valid working permit or parents who were permanent residents access to public schools or government funded schools.
Fadhlina added that the ministry was also reviewing plans to make 11 years of schooling mandatory.
Current laws stipulated mandatory primary schooling for all children citizens.
"The ministry is aware that access to education is a right for all children, the ministry in plans to move forward will review the necessity to turn 11 years of schooling from Year 1 to Form Five mandatory," she said.