Many Indonesian migrant workers in Sabah ignoring children's education

Many Indonesian migrant workers in Sabah ignoring children's education

Indonesian migrant workers

Nunukan, N Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Several Indonesian migrant workers employed in plantation areas in Sabah State, Malaysia, are oblivious of the importance of education for their children and are instead taking them to work, an education activist stated.

Indonesian workers employed by the United Malacca Nabawan's Palm Plantation are among those declining to send their children to local community learning centers (CLCs), according to Nurmawati, who manages the United Malacca's CLC in Keningau, Sabah.

In conversation with ANTARA that contacted her from Nunukan in North Kalimantan Province on Tuesday, Nurmawati spoke of having frequently urged workers to not bring their children at work but instead send them to schools in Indonesia or to local CLCs.

Nurmawati pointed to several of them still being averse to following her suggestion despite their kids having entered the age of compulsory school education. Nurmawati highlighted that she had made persistent efforts to encourage unmotivated workers to change their mindset.

To prevent school-aged kids from being brought to work by their parents, Nurmawati revealed she had taken them to her community learning center.

ANTARA noted that the Indonesian and Malaysian governments were highly supportive in providing education access to children of Indonesian migrant workers.

In July 2018, Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi had met with her Malaysian counterpart, Saifuddin Abdullah, for discussion on Indonesian children's access to education in Malaysia.

During the meeting, Marsudi lauded Malaysia's policy that supports better access to education for children of Indonesian migrant workers in the country.

During that time, Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullah confirmed that his government will facilitate the establishment of more schools for children of Indonesian workers.

According to the Indonesian Consulate General in Kota Kinabalu, the Malaysian state of Sabah, the Indonesian migrant workers' children may get access to education at a CLC as an alternative or non-formal educational institution.

Establishment of the CLC in Sabah is one of the "deliverable items" of the 8th Bilateral Annual Consultation between the president of the Republic of Indonesia and the Malaysian prime minister in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara Province, on Oct 20, 2011.

In its implementation, the establishment of the CLC refers to the CLC Formation Guidelinesissued by the Malaysian Ministry of Education on November 25, 2011.

As of 2019, the Indonesian Consulate General in Kota Kinabala confirmed the presence of 232 CLCs, with 14,213 students, while 926 students of the Kota Kinabalu Indonesian School.

The CLCs were taught by 294 teachers, assigned by the Ministry of Education and Culture and 429 helpers, according to the Indonesian consulate.
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