Education Deptartment to probe ‘non-citizen’ foul-up

Under Malaysia’s education policy, a non-citizen cannot study in a government school without a valid foreign student pass. — File pic
Under Malaysia’s education policy, a non-citizen cannot study in a government school without a valid foreign student pass. — File pic

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GEORGE TOWN, June 9 — The state Education Department will investigate how “non-citizen” T. Shuvita enrolled into government schools from Standard One to Form Three without a valid foreign student pass.

Its director, Datuk Osman Hussain, warned that he would wield the stick against the person who had registered and allowed Shuvita to study at SRK Jalan Residensi and up to Form Three at SMK Convent Pulau Tikus.

“I am new here and this incident happened eight years ago,” he told Malay Mail.

“But we will investigate and try to find out what happened. If there was a wrongdoing, we will take disciplinary action against the person who committed it.”

Osman said the problem started when the person who registered Shuvita for Standard One overlooked the citizenship status column in her birth certificate, which stated “non-citizen”.

Under Malaysia’s education policy, a non-citizen cannot study in a government school without a valid foreign student pass.

Shuvita’s citizenship status was the main reason the department had forced her to leave school and disallowed her from sitting this year’s Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3) examinations.

“I am surprised Shuvita managed to sit and pass the UPSR. As far as I’m concerned, she should not have been allowed to study in public schools because she is a non-citizen without proper documents.”

Osman said Shuvita could still go to school but she must apply for a foreign student pass from the Education Department once her citizenship was clarified by the Immigration Department.

He said her parents should go to the Immigration Department to resolve the issue.

“We will issue Shuvita a pass once the Immigration Department has clearly stated her foreign nationality,” he said.

“It’s beyond our control as the parents have to deal with the Immigration authorities before we can allow her to continue schooling.”

If Shuvita were to continue with her education with a foreign student pass, she will have to fork out RM250 a year in school fees and denied all benefits such as the Book Loan Scheme.

Asked whether he could use his discretion to issue Shuvita a temporary pass to enable her to continue studies and sit for PT3, Osman said: “I can’t do that. It’s against the law.”

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