There are still many Penan kids that not attending school despite reaching schooling-age.

There are still many Penan kids that not attending school despite reaching schooling-age.(Photo: Flickr/Wakx

In a random survey, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has found that three to four per cent of Malaysian children are not attending school, despite reaching school-going age.

Nevertheless, Unicef has not identified the reasons why these children were not attending school, unlike other children, said its representive here, Youssouf Omar.

“We do not know where these kids are from, and what they are doing…Unicef is trying hard to identify their whereabouts.

“Chances are, most of them come from the Orang Asli community or those who do not have birth certificates.

“Maybe, these kids are from the rural areas, living below the poverty line, and do not have birth certificates and did not apply for the identity card.

“These could cause problems for them to enter schools,” he told a press conference at the launch of the ”Education For Every Child Forum” here today.

Meanwhile, social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, who was also at the press conference, said the education ministry should focus on equal education rights to all children, whether in rural or urban areas.

“We have to help those kids who are not getting their rights, have access to education for our country”s future,” she said.

Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, wife of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, launched the one-day forum. — Bernama