Education for all children? Sure? 90:10 bumi:non bumi quota ratio clearly indicated that you are depriving non bumi children from entering local government university when entrance to university is not based on merit but based on race and universities funding is from non bumi tax payers. Isn't this racist in nature by whatever standard?

IN a visit to Sekolah Bimbingan Jalinan Kasih (SBJK) in March, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik stressed that the ministry is a firm believer in education for all.

He said despite coming from a “lower status”, the children should not be ignored as they are part of society.

“These children have the potential to become successful in life even though they come from tough backgrounds.

“I believe every individual has a chance to build a future of their own, if given the proper chance,” he said.

 “If SBJK did not exist, the children would be out on the streets and could be exposed to danger and negative influences,” he said.

Being shunned and called “anak sampah” can negatively affect any child, but social activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi believes the “street kids” are strong and don’t need approval from society.

“They are the least judgemental people and are much more resilient than they are given credit for,” he said, pointing out that the people who call them “anak sampah” are those who have never bothered to meet or get to know the children in person.

He said people are not happy with SBJK because they believe the school’s capability is limited and can’t “go all the way” in helping the children.

“Some believe SBJK should give the children its all, or nothing. But I’d prefer the children to have something and move forward from there,” he told StarEdu.

“SBJK gives them that opportunity to turn their lives around,” he said, adding that their parents must be more diligent in getting documentation issues sorted out.

Child therapist Priscilla Ho, who is also Creativity At Heart founder, said it is important that these children are educated and taken care of so that they will grow up well and would not be affected by adverse childhood experiences (ACE).

ACE refers to stressful events occurring during childhood, including domestic violence, parental abandonment, and more.

“If the children do not continue their education they will not be able to read, write and count. What will their future be?

“These children are emotionally affected as they are exposed to the toxic stress in the community, especially if they are being stigmatised and bullied.

“When there is no support for them from their own families and in schools, subsequently they will drop out of the school system.

“This could lead to poor mental health such as depression, anxiety or other mental health issues,” she said.

Ho added that the children could also end up being angry with themselves for being useless, thus bringing down their self-esteem.

She noted that there will be implications (in the long run) if society continuously shuns and sideline these children.

“Social ills and crimes will definitely increase if no focus is given to them. In order for them to survive they could resort to crime ,” she said.

However, she is optimistic that the children can be helped.

“I’ve worked in a children’s home where many of the adolescents came from

single parent families who were involved in drugs or in prison.

“Thanks to the care given, they turned their lives around and many were able to complete their education until Form Five with some in college.

“It’s a joy to see them become useful adults,” she added.

Source: The Star

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