Johor keeping eye on kids who are homeschooled

Johor education and information committee chairman Aznan Tamin (centre, holding an iPad), officiating the teacher's appreciation ceremony yesterday (May 23) by touching the screen of an iPad.

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Education Department is keeping a close eye on children who are being homeschooled to ensure that they are not exposed to inappropriate content, says state executive councillor Aznan Tamin.

The state education and information committee chairman said this was to also ensure that the children were given a proper primary education and were not left behind.

“The state education department is also looking into ways to encourage homeschooled children to return to school, including by offering counselling.

“We want them to have a formal education that is appropriate.

“There may be many other children out there who are not receiving formal education, and we need to also make sure they are not left out,” he told reporters after officiating the state-level teacher’s appreciation ceremony at SK Taman Pulai Emas yesterday.

He was asked to comment on the call from education groups for the tracking of Malaysian children to ensure they attend formal primary schools.

The call came following the attack on the Ulu Tiram police station, allegedly by a man who did not receive any formal education.

Aznan also urged parents who wished to continue homeschooling their children to register with the district education department offices (PPD).

“Parents are supposed to register with the relevant PPD if they want to homeschool their children, and we urge them to adhere to this.

“This will allow us to identify the children to make sure that they are properly educated and are not left behind,” he said.

Malaysian parents are legally required to enrol their children in primary school and ensure completion of Year One to Six.

Homeschooling requires approval from the Education Ministry, adherence to the national curriculum, and regular inspections by education authorities.

Failure to provide primary education can result in fines of up to RM5,000 or six months’ imprisonment.

On May 17, two policemen were killed while one was injured when a masked man attacked a police station in Ulu Tiram.

The attacker was also shot dead in the early morning incident.

The 21-year-old assailant and his three siblings reportedly had no formal schooling and were educated by their father, who was purportedly linked with the Jemaah Islamiah group.

Meanwhile, on another matter, Aznan said that schools were also working closely with the police to keep children, teachers and school staff safe.

“Schools are keeping the police informed on anything related to safety issues. Police are also monitoring schools to ensure everyone remains safe,” he said when asked if schools were stepping up security following the attack on the Ulu Tiram police station.

Aznan also said the state government had allocated some RM5.95mil to all schools in Johor for the upgrade of their teachers’ rooms.

“Each school receives RM5,000 to upgrade their teachers’ room as a show of appreciation and to motivate them.

“On top of that, some 30 schools in Johor, especially those in rural areas, will also be receiving smart boards from Yayasan Raja Zarith Sofiah to facilitate digital learning,” he added.

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