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Back to School

© UNICEF Malaysia/2011/Nadchatram
Children at Kg Numbak excited to go to school.

Going back to school as each New Year begins is an exciting sometimes nervous moment for thousands of children in Malaysia: new uniforms, new teachers, new books and new friends.

But for 93 million children across the world, including some 44,000* undocumented children in Malaysia, a new year is just another year, watching other children going off to school to chart bright futures for themselves. Without the opportunity to learn to read, write and count, the future for these already vulnerable children is nothing but bleak, with greater risk of exploitation and violence.


This is now changing. UNICEF, in collaboration with a broad range of local, national and international partners, is working to realise the Education for All goals. The new Schools for Asia initiative for example aims to give children in countries like Bangladesh, India, Lao PDR, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste the best start in life. In Malaysia, a groundbreaking partnership between the community, the government and UNICEF in 2011 is bringing education for undocumented children in Kg. Numbak, Sabah.

We do this because we know that educating children is the first step to reducing poverty, narrowing disparities and reducing crime. For all of us at UNICEF, Back to School, is when every child can look forward to a new year in school, with the hope of becoming the authors of change for their families and their nation. You too can share in our vision.


* Malaysia Ministry of Education Study 2009.





Back to School 2012

Video: Education in Kg Numbak, Sabah

3 January 2012:
School gives hope to undocumented children

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Millennium Development Goal 2


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