Enrol Children If They Have A Malaysian Parent

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PETALING JAYA: Government schools should enrol children who have no identity documents, as long as one parent is a Malaysian citizen, said MyDaftar coordinator Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam.This is because the Cabinet had decided in 2008 that such children can enrol in government schools.

Siva Subramaniam said there were complaints over the past three days about headmasters refusing to accept the enrolment of children who were not citizens or whose citizenship applications were still pending, although one parent was a Malaysian.“Perhaps some of the new school heads are not aware of the government decision, but even if that were the case, they should admit the children and then seek clarification,” he said. Siva Subramaniam said the circular issued by the director-general of Education on March 11, 2009 directed all state Education Department heads to allow enrolment of children in government and government-aided schools if one parent was a Malaysian citizen.He said the circular stated that the Cabinet had decided on Jan 16, 2008 that children of Malaysian citizens could be admitted to government schools even if they did not have identity documents.He said the circular instructed state education directors to process applications of children in the category and admit them to schools immediately.

MyDaftar was set up by the Government in 2011 to help undocumented Indians in the country obtain their identification papers.The initiative is jointly led by the Special Implementation Task Force of the Cabinet committee on the Indian community and the National Registration Department, with the support of MIC and Indian-based organisations.Siva Subramaniam declined to state how many children were denied entry to schools but said some cases involved children who have birth certificates but are not considered Malaysian citizens since their parents did not register their marriage with the National Registration Department.Typically such cases involve children where one parent is Malaysian and the other a foreigner.He said many parents whose children are in this category have already applied for citizenship for their children under Article 15A of the Malaysian Constitution, but such applications take up to three years to be processed.“In the meantime, it would be unfair of school heads to demand proof of citizenship before allowing the children to attend school,” he said.

( The Star 11th January 2016 )