Barriers to enrolment in National Schools for Non-citizen children of Malaysians

Proposer:

CSO Platform For Reform – Child Cluster

Affiliations:

Child Rights Coalition Malaysia (CRCM)

Policy Code:

2e Child

Problem Statement / Issue:

1. Non-citizen children of Malaysians face barriers to enrolment in national schools.
Applications are more often than not rejected and the Malaysian parent is forced to seek
costlier alternatives for Primary and Secondary Education.
2. Bureaucracy with regards to the admission of these children into the public school system
often results in children being admitted much later in the academic year. This is also a yearly
process, which does not guarantee an automatic renewal of admission into the school for
the following year.
3. Non-citizen children in the public school system will also be ineligible for many schemes and
aid (such as free food programmes or textbook loan schemes) incurring additional costs of
education. In some cases, children are prohibited from representing their schools in state
and national-level competitions.

Value(s) and Belief(s):

Allow non-citizen children of either Malaysian parent to access National School education without
discrimination.

Proposal of Solution and Call to Action:

1. Amend provisions under the Education Act 1996 that limit public schools to citizens to allow
all children in Malaysia equal access to basic education regardless of citizenship status. This
is to include stateless children.
2. Remove the two year limit on filing documentation or citizenship with the National
Registration Department.
3. Extend services such as the Textbook Loan Scheme, Supplementary Food Programme and
health programmes to all students regardless of citizenship status.
4. Establish and uphold a standard operating procedure for student enrolment in every school
district across Malaysia.

Translation

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