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Thursday August 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday August 29, 2013 MYT 6:38:38 AM
by priya kulasagaran
Out of this world: A screenshot of a picture of boxes of the ‘get smart’ pills found on a Facebook account.
PETALING JAYA: Schools in several states have been “pushing” pills that supposedly make pupils cleverer.
The promoters also claim that the “get smart” pills, named Dimensi 108, which are marketed as food supplements, can alter children’s behaviour to make them more obedient and hard-working as well as resistant to illnesses.
Concerned parents from a school in Kuala Lumpur contacted The Star when the tablets were distributed to Year Six pupils earlier this week, saying their children were being forced to buy the pills.
One parent said she had asked her daughter to return the pills to the class teacher and refused to pay for them.
“When my daughter and a few of her friends returned the pills, the teacher told them not to blame her if they are tak pandai (not clever) in their UPSR (which starts on Sept 9).
“Can you believe that? The teacher is supposed to encourage the kids to work hard for their exams and not rely on some pills with so-called magical properties,’’ the outraged parent told The Star.
Another complainant, whose brother is studying at the school, has lodged a written complaint with the Health Ministry.
“A ministry official told me that they will look into the matter, and I have also sent pictures of the packaging of the pills with the ministry’s logo on it.
“I hope they will get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible because we need to know whether the product is legitimate or not,” said the complainant.
The school’s headmistress said parents had “misunderstood” the nature of the pills and it was not compulsory for pupils to buy them.
“We would not promote anything that is bad for the pupils ... these are just like herbal supplements to help pupils concentrate and build energy for the upcoming examination.
“They have ingredients such as spirulina and red dates, which are known for their health-giving properties. I myself give them to my child near the examination period.
“The product also has the endorsement of the Malaysian Federation of the Council of Headmasters, meaning that it has been approved by the Health and Education ministries,” she said.
The headmistress claimed that the pills were supplied to the school by the council.
“One parent shared her concerns with me personally, and when I explained the situation, she was very supportive,” she added.
Some parents remained sceptical.
“Only RM5 for a behaviour altering drug? This is way too affordable for the best thing since the discovery of DNA,” quipped a parent on Facebook.
“Spend a few hundred bucks, behavioural issues solved ... Where can I mass order? Or how to sign up to be an agent?” added another.
Get smart pills are safe to be consumed says firm
Health Ministry to probe pillpopping schools
Tags / Keywords:
Education, good behaviour pills, UPSR
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