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Education Specialist Suggests Schools Start At 8am

Education Specialist Suggests Schools Start At 8am

Dr Anuar Ahmad said starting schools at 8am is safer for families and teachers and allows students to have breakfast at home before coming to school.

Adeline Leong

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For the safety of both parents and schoolchildren, Dr Anuar Ahmad, who’s an education specialist from UKM, suggested the Education Ministry consider having schools start at 8am, 30 minutes later than usual.

Schools in Peninsular Malaysia start at 7.30am and this means some families, including teachers, had to get up as early as 4.30am to prepare their children for school and to get to work on time.

Families would have to leave the house early while it’s still dark outside to avoid heavy traffic.

The early school hours also meant it was difficult for those living in rural areas and some of them have to travel by boat in darkness.

School children travel by boat to school. For illustration purposes. Image: TRP File

How will it work?

Dr Anuar Ahmad, an Education Diversity Study Center education specialist from UKM, said the concept of Malaysia Madani and the slogan ‘Murid Ceria, Guru Bahagia, Sekolah Bitara, dan Negara Sejahtera’ can be upheld by changing the start of schooling hours to 8am.

He said the government should be empathetic to the plight of the people who have to get up early to get to school on time.

In the rural areas, young children are forced to go through small trails and muddy roads. Not only that, some of them have to take a boat to school while the sky is still dark.

Dr Anuar Ahmad, an Education Diversity Study Center education specialist from UKM
Bright and early! For illustration purposes. Image: Sayuti Zainudin/Malay Mail

Changing the school session to start at 8am provides the opportunity for students to have breakfast with their families instead of rushing out the door without food which results in students starting the day hungry.

In order to carry out the plan smoothly, Dr Ahmad said the Education Ministry can lessen the school session by 15 minutes for the morning and afternoon school sessions.

Since the school starts 30 minutes later, it shouldn’t be an issue if the Education Ministry lessen the morning and afternoon school periods by 15 minutes.

Dr Anuar Ahmad, an Education Diversity Study Center education specialist from UKM

He hopes the ministry will take his ideas into consideration for the people’s benefit.

Parents are divided about the idea

Some parents welcomed the suggestion as it’s safer for families to travel to school when it’s already bright outside.

Some who agreed with the idea also want the school syllabus to be revamped to save study time.

Netizens also pointed out that some private schools in Malaysia start their day at 8am.

Those who disagreed are worried that changing the time will make the traffic worse and parents will be late to work.

Some are also worried that the school syllabus can’t be completed if the school session is shortened.

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