SHAH ALAM: Next year, school students will step out in black shoes instead of in white.
According to Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik, the ruling is prompted by parents.
“The mothers especially, not so much the fathers,” he said during a question-and-answer session on education organised by Sinar Harian.
The packed session yesterday was moderated by journalist Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar.
Dr Maszlee was also asked what he wanted to achieve while at the helm of the ministry in the next five years.
“I want to ensure that children carry lighter bags to school and shorten the number of years students spend in school before furthering their studies,” he replied.
Dr Maszlee also said the ministry agreed with the Transport Ministry to sell special number plates to alumni of public universities as a form of additional funding for the institutions.
“Through a JPJ (Road Transport Department) collaboration with the universities, we will try to issue and sell number plates.
“For example, a graduate of UM (Universiti Malaya) may like to have the number plate UM1000 or UM2322.
“So they will pay JPJ, with half of the proceeds going to the university,” he said.
He urged the alumni to support their own universities.
“If the graduates and alumni don’t help their alma maters, who else will?”
Dr Maszlee also said he had assured the universities that their funding would not be cut but at the same time, there would be no guarantees of additional monies for them.
Meanwhile, Mydin managing director Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin asked if Dr Maszlee’s statement on black shoes for school students had been made after adequate consultation.
“I’m sure some mothers have complained but has he asked all the stakeholders, like parent-teacher associations?”
Ameer noted that for generations, the practice of Malaysian students keeping their school shoes clean was a way of demonstrating personal hygiene, standards and discipline.
He added that parents would have to fork out money to buy new black shoes for their kids.
“School uniform sellers and shops with stocks of white school shoes will also be left holding the bag if the minister’s words become policy next year,” he said.