The government’s move to change the iconic white school shoe to black ones will be given a year to be implemented.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the grace period was given so as not to burden parents and for everyone to get used to the new directive.
He said the ministry had no intention to enforce the ruling in a rushed and drastic manner.
“We understand the concerns raised by all parties.
“That is why we will give the one year grace period instead of enforcing the directive from next year as was announced earlier,” he said.
Dr Maszlee said the ministry understood some parents – especially those from the lower income group, may be burdened by having to buy new shoes for their children.
He said the ministry also took note of concerns raised by traders who had stocked up on white school shoes.
“Therefore, no disciplinary action would be taken against any student still wearing white shoes to school next year,” he said.
Maszlee had on Thursday announced that students will be required to wear black shoes to school from next year, as white shoes get dirty easily.
He said this was one of the many requests he received from parents.
“Mothers especially – the fathers, not so much,” he said during a question and answer session on education.
However, this has since received mixed reaction, with parents groups saying the ministry should give a grace period before enforcing the new directive.
Traders also lamented how the directive would affect them, complaining that their stock of white shoes would go to waste and shoe whiters would be made redundant.
The Star quoted the Federation of Malaysia Chinese Guilds Association as saying that many of its members complained they were not notified of the ministry’s decision and had already placed orders for white shoes with overseas suppliers.
A school uniform shop in Penang reportedly said it sold about 3,000 pairs of white school shoes yearly and manufacturers have already begun producing next year’s supply, while suppliers were ready to ship more stock here.
Now with the one-year grace period, concerns raised should no longer be issues.