Did any of you happen to follow the Malaysian Budget 2008 that was tabled by our Prime Minister recently?
Quite interesting I must say. But the one that caught my attention was the whole “FREE textbooks for all students!!” line in the newspapers. Oh, and also the fact that school fees for government primary and secondary schools will be abolished from next year. Awesome isn’t it?
I just think it’s great that there will no longer be school fees demanded at the beginning of every year. Not that it was that much anyway, but it was always rather taxing to the less fortunate, and thus they opt for taking their kids out of school in order to save.
On the subject of textbooks, I think it’s a simply BRILLIANT idea to extend the textbook loan scheme to everyone, regardless of how much your family is earning. I mean think about it, if you are an only child, what in the world are you going to do with all those books?? Even if you had other siblings, chances are the textbooks would change by the time they get to the grade where they can use your books (considering our government likes to make those sort of changes every now and then). So yeah, kudos to the Malaysian government for making textbooks free for all. Hopefully the students will have enough sense of responsibility to take care of their books.
Do you remember the times when WE had to BUY all of our textbooks?
Every year we’d get a long list of books and stationary needed to buy. The class teacher or someone from the class would be passing around these yellow-stained coloured paper with the book list and we’d all fold it and stuff it into our bags with just a few glances. The ones who are lucky enough to have elder siblings would strike off the books which they already have at home, waiting to be passed down to them. Those who are the first in the family (like me) would just have to get everything from the bookshop.
Ahh…the school bookshop…
Tiny and cramped, and overflowing with textbooks at the end of every end-year semester break. I remember going to the bookshop about a week or two before school reopens and there’d be a long queue of students waiting to buy the oh-so-heavy-and-boring textbooks (along with exercise books etc). You’d be queuing and waiting, fanning yourself with the booklist to try and cool off from the heat, and then when you finally get to the book shop window, you’d be met by a VERY GRUMPY kakak bookshop. Usually, more often than not, at least 2 of the books in your list will be belum sampai. Then you’d try your best to refrain from asking the kakak “bila sampai?” for fear she’d bite your head off with a “tak tau lah!“
But that’s high school book shop. The primary school shop was really cool though. Besides the fact that it’s location was next to a toilet (hence sometimes it gets a bit stinky around that area), it was actually one of my favourite hangouts when I was in primary school. I’d go there even when I needed to buy anything just to check out what new stationary stuff they had.
Among my favourite items were the small erasers that came in various shapes and colours. You’d have some looking like strawberries, some like cars and some animal shapes too. You guys remember those? Then there were the itty-bitty air fresheners, which came in small bottles or cases. They look like clear manik-manik, eerrr…how do i explain it… like tiny droplets of water..which are hard and smells really good. Hahahahha…I was such a sucker for all these things. I’d buy and stuff them everywhere, in my school bag (all pockets), my pencil box, my small coin purse and even the pockets of my pinafore!
What else, what else…hmmm…owh owh!! and I’d be buying quite a few of those checked exercise books to play conquer!!! hahahahha…such fun! Then also buying mechanical pencils of all sorts, although we fondly called them pensel lit, LOL.
Ape lagi ek? Any of you have any favourites at your school book shop?
Those were the days…life was just fun and games back then. If only we could see life in the same carefree way as how we used to…everything would be a lot simpler and the world would definitely be a happier place to live in 🙂