Published: Monday September 10, 2012 MYT 6:07:00 PM
Updated: Monday September 10, 2012 MYT 9:40:53 PM
Fatimah: No child should be denied an education
KUCHING: Schools must accept children without proper identification papers, said state Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah on Monday.
Community leaders' verification could be used to register the children in lieu of proper documents, she said.
This was in line with a 2008 Cabinet decision that all children, regardless of their identity, could be accepted by schools, she said.
“No child should be denied an education opportunity although he or she may not have proper identification papers,” she said Monday.
She said every child had a right to an education as stipulated under Article 28(1)(a) of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Based on a survey conducted by the Education Ministry in 2009, she said 43,973 children, ranging from age 7 to 17, without proper identification, had been deprived of opportunity for education in the country.
“Out of this, 5,271 or 12% are Malaysians while 38,702 or 88% are not citizens of this country or due to uncertain citizenship.
“The second category is more prevalent in Sabah and not in Sarawak,” she told reporters after receiving a memorandum from representatives of Chinese schools for the setting up of a trust fund.