Eight children in Seremban were not allowed into their school because they did not have birth certificates.
Children without birth certificates should be allowed to attend school. What kind of people are we if can't even have that right? All this outdated "irregularities" that existed before should have been fixed.
Come one...Malaysia maju or not?
And if we have kids without birth certs facing problems with school enrolment, then effort must be taken to resolve their predicament, because most times it is due to ignorant/illiterate parents or some extenuating circumstances. Nothing is beyond solution.
Having birth certificates should not be the pre-requisite for school registration and enrolment.
If we are a progressive country that we want to be, then we must accept that education is the right of every child in this country. No regulation should exist to deny a child this right.
As for children without birth certs, surely some kind of documentation can be made for them to be enrolled in school.
So, therefore, hence, ergo.... of course, we can resolve their problem.
The sad thing is that the problem usually surfaces when these kids begin school.
Take the case in Seremban of 8 kids -- siblings L. Nisha, 10, Pavitra, nine, and Teeban, eight, orphaned cousins S. Meganathan, 11, and Mahaletchumy, seven, another orphan C. Jayasutha 12, K. Tamilarasi, nine, and G. Arvind, eight.
Jayasutha will be sitting for her UPSR in 5 months' time.
The kids were barred from attending classes at their school - SJKT Ladang Linsum - in February for not having birth certificates.
Firstly, I am grateful to my former colleague, Sarban Singh of The Star for highlighting the story yesterday .
I think there are many kids like them whose parents are simply unaware, illiterate and so on about the need to have birth certificates.
In some cases, it is simply poverty. Applying for birth certificates just doesn't figure in their lives.
The school had barred these kids because it was told by the state Education Department that headmasters who allowed such pupils in their schools would be fined RM1,000 for each student.
NOW, WHAT IS WRONG IN ALL THIS? I'll tell you in a while.
According to the Star report today:
"After the report was published, Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong and Cabinet Committee on the Indian Community in the Prime Minister's Department consultant N. Siva Subramaniam stepped in to resolve the issue. Dr Wee said the ministry had issued a circular in March 2009 clarifying that as long as one parent was a citizen, children without birth certificates could attend school. Expressing regret over the episode, Siva Subramaniam said he met officials from the school and the state education department yesterday and it was decided that the pupils would be allowed to return to school.
He explained that under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, even if the parents were non-Malaysians, the child should be allowed to attend school after filling up the necessary documents.
He said there were many children without proper documentation in the country but all had the right to be in school."
Did I just ask you what was wrong in all this?
The attitude of the school. And that unacceptable State Education Department ruling.
In fact, going by what Dr Wee said, the headmaster got it wrong.
But, even though there exists such a stupid ruling that schools be made to pay a fine for allowing "such pupils", the school authorities - if they have it in them - should take the initiative to help these kids.
You don't have the heart? Then, at least have the brains to help those kids.
Oh...must we tell them all this?
Isn't there somewhere that tells you that you can't punish the kids because they are orphans or because their circumstances had forced them to be where they are standing right now?
Shouldn't that prompt you to help them instead of closing the door on them?
I hope, it was the headmaster who -- at his wits end -- had reached out to the Star to help him help the kids.
As for such a senseless ruling (if it at all exists) -- what a damn shame! You're not finding solutions...you're perpetuating the problem, and creating new ones! So, shame on the state education department!
I think we all should play our part in ensuring that all children - including those without birth certificates -- are allowed to go to school.
Damn! Isn't it against the law to deny children an education?
That said -- I'm happy that it is a happy ending.
However, I know that there are a lot of kids out there who are in a similar situation.