Cover Story, Current Affairs, National

Enrolment in schools should not require parents’ marriage certificate

Press statement by ADUN for Bukit Gasing, Rajiv Risyakaran on 30 December 2020:

 

Yesterday I handled a case of a student who was enrolling for form 1 for next year in a secondary school in Petaling Jaya. Among the requirements is a need for the parents’ marriage certificate. 

In this particular case, the parents’ marriage was not registered as they only had a ceremonial wedding. Thus, without a marriage certificate they were unable to proceed with the registration at the school today. 

 
ADUN for Bukit Gasing, Rajiv Risyakaran.
 

Surprisingly, this issue is not a new one. In fact, such cases have been highlighted many times over the years. It is common for most low-income families, especially the uneducated and living in a small community, to not register their marriages. However, their children would still have a birth certificate and even a MyKid / MyKad as proof of their citizenship. 

 

So why is there still a need for parents to show their marriage certificate in order to enrol their child in school? 

 

If the Ministry of Education is serious about the “No Child Left Behind” policy, then shouldn’t the process of enrolment, including the documentations required, be made simpler and easier? Parents send their children to school in order to give them a better future, an education that they themselves may have been deprived of. Instead of enabling, the enrolment procedure seems to be playing on bureaucracy and unnecessary red tape. 

While this particular father knew how to contact for assistance, many parents would not have known where to turn to for help when turned away by the school. After receiving his call, I contacted the Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah (PPD) Petaling Utama to look for a solution to allow the student to be enrolled. With the explanation from the officers at PPD, I was able to advise them to make a statutory declaration in place of a marriage certificate. 

 
For illustrative purposes.
 

However, such a requirement by the Ministry of Education is burdensome and unnecessary, and bound to cause children from lower income families be deprived from getting an education – which is every child’s right. 

I urge the Ministry of Education to do away with such unnecessary requirements and place the priority on easy enrolment for the sake of our children’s education.   

#NoChildLeftBehind

Rajiv Risyakaran
ADUN for Bukit Gasing

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