School defied minister’s instructions, says child welfare society

Suriana Welfare Society says only education ministry can allow children to attend school without citizenship.

picture of young girl

PETALING JAYA: A children’s welfare organisation has criticised the actions of a school in Negeri Sembilan which prevented a Year One child from attending class as she did not possess a passport. Pic drawn from Free Malaysia Today

The Suriana Welfare Society, which comprises charitable and welfare organisations, said the school had defied the recent instructions given by the education minister to allow children without citizenship to attend school.

“If the minister’s instructions were taken into account and taken seriously, these children would not be in this current situation,” said the organisation’s leader, Scott J Wong.

On Jan 6, Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid said children without citizenship could attend school even though their citizenship applications were still being processed.

However, in the first week of school, a seven-year-old girl in Seremban was barred from attending based on a new policy by the Immigration Department, as she did not have a passport.

Her family had adopted her legally and was awaiting approval for the citizenship application.

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