- Program Name: Sabah Stateless Children Education Development Plan
- Program Country: Keningau , Sabah
- Timeframe: 2017, 2018
- Required Budget:Infrastructure & Facilities :
RM 30,000 (PRIORITY)
English Literacy – TBD
IT Literacy and Skill Sets : TBD
About Stateless Children
The 70’s and 80’s saw a large influx of Indonesians and Filipinos into Sabah, Malaysia with the hopes of creating a brighter future for themselves and their families. Majority of them entered the country illegally and worked in estates, factories and timber mills for a pay that was below minimum wage due to their legal status.
Today, these communities of Indonesians and Filipinos have started families in Sabah and have children who are undocumented. These stateless children do not have access to government schools, healthcare, or any other government funded services. Most of them have no passports or any documentation and don’t even know their date of birth or even age. Their parents earn below minimum wage due to their legal status which restricts the types of jobs they can get thus forcing them into a life of poverty.
Through fundraising, self-funding and a little of help from their respective embassies, these communities have built makeshift schools for the children. The schools are very basic, inadequately equipped and don’t have enough teachers to provide a good education for the children.
• Self-equip the children with basic education to gear them into being independent adult
• Provide convenient environment and facilitation for the children to learn
Education Fund for Keningau School
It is called Etania School CLC (Community Language Centre) Java Keningau. The school is about 2 ½ hours away from Kota Kinabalu. The school is on a rented land from a landlord under a contractual terms. The school is built in an area with a large population of Indonesians and Filipinos that work at their timber mills there. The school has a total of 83 children, 75 children aged 5 to 12, and 8 children aged 13 to 15. Due to the limited number of classrooms, some of the children from different standards share classrooms. Children in standard 4, 5 and 6 shares a common classroom. So does children in standard 2 and 3. This is a challenge for the teachers to concentrate on the required course syllabus for certain standard. The school is funded by the meagre salary of the parents and through donations, as well as partial funding from the Indonesian government.
The present school structure is a semi-permanent structure which is constructed using plywood and wooden boards. The classrooms are not protected from the rain as rain water comes into the classrooms during heavy rain and they need some form of construction for the sides of the building to protect them from the rain. The classrooms are small and are crammed, hence the suggestion to move the Class 5 and 6 students into a new 30 feet by 30 feet classroom, to facilitate a better learning environment. There is no electricity in the school compound, hence its important to maintain the high ceiling for ventilation.
The Founder is Dr. Kathryn. She has been in Malaysia for many years. There are about 4 permanent and 2 temporary teachers. The school headmistress is Puan Rozima Michael. Most of the financial support for the school depend on public donation. Ten subjects are taught which are: Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Civics, Physical Education, Information Communication Technology (only theory), Bahasa Indonesia, English, Agama and Arts and Cultural Studies. They follow the Indonesian Syllabus as the main objective of the teachers, students and parents is to prepare the children to complete their studies until Grade IX, after which they will be able to apply for High School in Kota Kinabalu. Upon completion of High School, the children can proceed to apply for entrance to a University in Indonesia which is supported by the Local Indonesian Consulate Office in Sabah.
The TECH Outreach Team was shocked to see the condition of the school. It was ill equipped and the children had no school bags, school shoes, many without school uniforms, school books, stationery, etc. The classrooms were made from plywood and the walls were “shaky;” there were no doors and the classrooms were crammed with 83 students. They definitely needed more space, more assistance in terms of materials and basic school necessities and the children needed continued sponsorships for their personal school items, such as books, stationery, shoes, socks, uniforms, bags, water bottles, paints, etc….This is the first step and today had a big impact on the children and the teachers. To ensure sustainability, these efforts have to continue and the ideal solution will be to have an individual or an institution or organisation in Peninsula Malaysia “adopt” or “sponsor” this school over a period of three years, before handing over the sponsorship to another individual or organisation who can take over the sponsorship, passing the baton so to speak.
Some Children Profiles
Tech Outreach interviewed few children from the school. Below are their profiles.
This is NurZafinah. She is 8 years old and in standard 2. She has 7 siblings. Her ambition is to become teacher as she wants to teach others. Her favourite subject is science. She loves to play swing during her leisure time. Her mom is housewife and her father works in a construction company.
This is Wulan Zulaikah. She is 13 years old and in standard 6. She has 3 siblings. She can speak little English in spite of lack of English education in the school. She learned during education camps. She loves dancing and likes to take part in school events. Her other pastime is playing badminton. She has not decided her ambition and still keeps it open.
This is Nur Ain. She is 8 and she performed to a dance called “Dayang Dayang” to welcome the TECH Outreach Team. She has been studying in this school for the past one year. Her father, Amin, is a contractor and her mother, Salmah, is a housewife. She has five brothers and sisters. Her favourite subjects are English and Mathematics, and her hobby is dancing. Her ambition is to become a Teacher one day.
This is Natasha, aged 12. She is in Class VI. She will sit for the “Ujian Nasional Indonesia” this year. She has been attending school only for the past 7 months, as before this, she just went for tuition. She has four brothers and sisters. Her mother, Ida Abdullah, is a vegetable seller, and her father, Sarabi, is a mechanic. She says coming to school is better than going for tuition, and she wants to work in the Bomba when she grows up.
Development Plan – Help Needed
Providing these children with a brighter future would mean giving them the necessary tools and skills to be able to develop themselves and pursue their interests and passions. By doing so, these children will be able to alleviate themselves from poverty and create a career that they are proud of. With that objective in mind, below is a 3-stage development plan to achieve that goal.
Stage 1: Infrastructure
The school requires additional classrooms to separate children from different standards repair existing structure. The new classrooms need to be able to accommodate about 40 children.
There are also need for tables, chairs, cupboards, doors for the classrooms. Many of the children are sharing chairs and tables to study.
The surrounding of the school compound can get flooded when rains heavily as there is no proper drainage system.
There is no electricity available in the school which makes it hot and humid on a very sunny day. Moreover, the lack of electricity prohibits opportunity to use computers to enhance their Information Technology learnings.
The current estimate for the construction of a new classroom is at RM25,000.00. There are ideas of building the classroom using bamboo which is environmental friendly.
In addition to that, the new classroom will require the following items, the total of which should not exceed RM 3,000.00:
1. Tables (approx. 20)
2. Chairs (approx. 30)
Apart from this, there is a need for electricity to equip computers for Information Technology practical studies.
Stage 2: English Literacy
The current teachers are not fluent in English. The idea is to provide training to the current teachers in the school to equip them with English literacy. The objective is to ensure all students can read, write, and communicate in English fluently.
Stage 3: IT Literacy
The school will be provided computers and a teacher to train the children on IT skills. The objective of this enhance computer skills, using applications, education via internet etc. This can be achieve if the basic infrastructure with facilities and education is fulfilled,