Stateless children deserve education too
By:Ma Chee Seng
Date:
KCH-fatimah 2-1106-rs 04

KUCHING: Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah is on board with making secondary school attendance compulsory for all children but says the need for stateless children to get an education should not be forgotten.

Fatimah, who is also Sarawak Minister for Women, Early Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development, said this when asked by reporters regarding her views on making secondary school obligatory.

She said there must also be some consideration for the group of stateless children when amending Section 29A of the Education Act 1996 to make schooling compulsory up to Form Five.

“We are all in for them having access to education, and when secondary education becomes mandatory, we cannot forget about these children as they must also have that opportunity.

“Due to the lengthy process of applying for citizenship, they are unable to attend school during this time, which has an adverse effect on both their long-term future as individuals and as a community,” Fatimah pointed out.

Since their mother is either a foreigner due to an improper marriage or adoption or does not have personal documents, she added these stateless children are considered citizens without a clear citizenship status despite their father being Malaysian.

Fatimah noted that some people did not have access to education because they are regarded as stateless.

She emphasised that all children deserved access to basic education that begins with six years of primary schooling and five years of secondary education.

New Sarawak Tribune e-Paper

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