Thursday, March 21

38,832 children in Sarawak begin formal education


Year 1 pupils at SK Merpati Jepang were all smiles on their first day of school yesterday. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: A total of 38,832 students throughout Sarawak began their formal education in Year 1 yesterday.

For parents and guardians alike, it was definitely a day to remember as they led their children to the school gates to start the next big step in their lives.

Some of the pupils were seen sporting traditional white shoes, while others have already opted to don black shoes on their first day of school.

The requirement for students in all government and government-aided schools to wear black shoes will be enforced in stages beginning this year, and become compulsory in 2021.

Meanwhile, unlike years past, there were fewer sights of newly-enrolled pupils bawling after being left by their parents in the classroom for the first time yesterday.

According to SK Merpati Jepang senior administrative assistant Sapiah Bujang, this is because the majority of Year 1 pupils today are already accustomed to being in a classroom setting by themselves as they have been to preschool.

From her observations, pupils these days are also more matured in their thinking skills and know how to quickly ‘fit-in’ by making new friends despite being in a new environment.

“When the parents leave the classroom, the Year 1 pupils still have smiles on their faces as they are surrounded by their new friends,” she said.

Sapiah said this year, SK Merpati Jepang has recorded 90 new pupils for Year 1, and another 50 for its preschool.

Nationwide, a total of 465,411 students entered Year 1 for the 2019 school term yesterday, according to the Education Ministry – bringing the number of primary and secondary school students in Malaysia to 4.7 million.