Back-to-school supplies can cost up to RM200, and for many struggling parents, it is a challenge to come up with the funds.
Mohd Yusairi Mat Yasin, 42, said he was grateful his son had been selected as a beneficiary of the Yayasan PETRONAS back-to-school programme.
“As a parent, I am very thankful because the programme makes children more excited to go to school and motivates them to learn better.
“I hope this will be an annual thing because inflation has taken a toll on many parents with schoolgoing children.
“It is getting harder to make ends meet,” he said when met at SK Pendidikan Khas Jalan Batu (L).
The programme, aimed at providing 21,000 lower primary and lower secondary school students from low-income households across Malaysia with school supplies and uniforms, was launched at the school in Kulala Lumpur on March 22.
“We understand the importance of students being equipped with school essentials to not only help them stay in school, but also to thrive in their studies so that they have a chance to change their future and help their communities to get out of the poverty trap,” said Yayasan PETRONAS chief executive officer Shariah Nelly Francis in her welcome remark.
The programme was officiated by Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek.
Corporate sector assistance, she said in her speech, goes a long way in helping marginalised and underprivileged students.
Programmes like this lighten the load of parents when it comes to school expenditure, she said.
Under the programme, selected students will receive a voucher for a school uniform set complete with shoes, socks and sports attire, and a classroom kit comprising a schoolbag, colour pencils and a stationery set.
Secondary school students will also be presented with scientific calculators.
The nationwide programme will end next month. — By FAWWAZ FADZLULLAH