“Back-to-School” packs for pupils

Dr Maszlee (second from left) chats with pupils after presenting them with new school uniforms, shoes and bags for the upcoming school year while Azmir (left) looks on.

McDONALD’S Malaysia and Ronald McDonald House Charities Malaysia (RMHC) conduct an annual “Back-to-School” programme for underprivileged pupils across the country.

Each pupil receives one set of school uniforms, a school bag and shoes for the new school year.

Entering its second year, McDonald’s Malaysia managing director and local operating partner Azmir Jaafar said the initiative was born out of the company’s desire to assist the poor.

“There are many children in need in our country.

“Urban poor families can’t even afford to buy school uniforms for their children.

“Some families have five children, so it’s not easy for them.

“New school uniforms give children a confidence boost,” he said.

Azmir said McDonald’s Malaysia and RMHC, along with their partners, contributed RM1.7mil worth of “Back-to-School” packs to 17,000 pupils.

It is a long-term plan, Azmir said, as education leads to a better life.

Irfan Naim, 10, was excited at the sight of the bright red school bag.

It’s my favourite colour, said the SK Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur pupil.

“My father is a mechanic and mother is a housewife.

“The school pack will help reduce their burden for the coming school year,” said the eldest of three siblings.

Smiling from ear to ear after receiving his school pack, Kevin Samuel Stephen, 10, said the initiative should reach more underprivileged pupils.

“I’m happy because my parents don’t have to buy them next year!” said the SK Bukit Bandaraya pupil.

School will reopen in all states on Jan 2 next year and a day earlier in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik emphasised on the important role the private sector plays in achieving the aspirations of the country’s education system.

“The private sector can act as a meaningful contributor to enhance public initiatives and mobilise a more efficient service delivery.

“There are plenty of opportunities and I encourage the private sector to come forward and discuss with the ministry on how we can work together for the future for our children and the national education system,” he said.

Dr Maszlee urged all parties to instil the culture of “happiness, love and mutual respect” towards creating a positive learning environment with diligent reading and a love of knowledge.

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