SEREMBAN: Eight pupils who were abruptly barred from SJKT Ladang Linsum in February for not having birth certificates are to resume classes today.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong and Cabinet Committee on the Indian Community in the Prime Minister's Department consultant Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam stepped in to resolve the issue yesterday, following a report in The Star which highlighted the pupils' plight.
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.
“We managed to register some 14,000 people without proper documents in the recent MyDaftar campaign. Under Phase Two of the programme, we will extend this to schools nationwide,” Siva Subramaniam said, adding that several thousand children were said to be in the same predicament.
The eight are 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.
K. Tamilarasi could not be located after she was stopped from attending school.
The school had barred the pupils from attending classes after being told by the state Education Department that headmasters who allowed such pupils in their schools would be fined RM1,000 for each student.
MIC Information chief Datuk V.S. Mogan said parents with such children should get letters from their respective village heads, community leaders or elected representatives to clarify their status.
Meanwhile, eight-year-old orphan K. Jeganathan was also wearing a big smile yesterday.
He can now attend classes at the SJKT Lobak after being turned away on the first day of school last year because his parents did not register his birth.
Jeganathan and his seven-year-old brother Nagulan were issued a letter by the National Registration Department confirming their birth certificates were being processed to enable them to go to school.
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Tuesday April 12, 2011SEREMBAN: A sign at the entrance to SJKT Ladang Linsum near here reads: “At this gate, we begin our journey to excellence”.
But 12-year-old C. Jayasutha, who is due to sit for her UPSR exam in five months, will beg to differ.
The orphan and seven other pupils face a bleak future as they have been abruptly stopped from attending classes since Feb 24 for not having birth certificates.
This despite the fact that their parents are all citizens.
“I am only an average pupil and I need to attend school to be able to do well in the UPSR. I cannot afford tuition,'' she said in between sobs outside the school.
Approached by The Star, headmistress A. Gracy said the action was due to a directive from the state Education Department that school heads who allowed such pupils in their schools would be fined RM1,000 for each pupil, which must be paid out of their own pockets.
The other pupils who have been forced to stop school are siblings L. Nisha, 10, Pavitra, nine, and Teeban, eight, orphaned cousins S. Meganathan, 11, and Mahaletchumy, seven, and K. Tamilarasi, nine, and G. Arvind, eight.
B. Muniammah, 50, who has been taking care of Jayasutha since she was two and who is also Meganathan's and Mahaletchumy's grandmother, said the school notified her of the matter just after Chinese New Year.
“Meganathan and Mahaletchumy were both born at Kuala Lumpur Hospital and their parents died when they were young.
“Jayasutha's parents have also passed away and all I have are hospital cards of their mothers going for their pre-natal check-ups,” she said.
R. Mageswary, 34, the mother of the three siblings, said she submitted applications for her children's birth certificates early last month but there was no news yet.
Malaysian Public Service Society president Andrew Raju said the pupils should not be penalised for their parents' oversight.
“I have submitted their applications to the National Registration Department and we don't know how long it is going to take before they are given their birth certificates.
“Whichever way you look at it, the children are the ones who are going to pay the price for this,” he said.
State Education director Abdul Halim Abdul Razak could not be reached for comment.