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Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:00

Inculcate Etiquette along with Presentation of New Uniforms

Written by  Kang Miew Tiang, Muar / Translated by Connie Ong Yoke Ching

From June 11 to 20, 2017, Tzu Chi Muar organized 15 sessions of school uniform distributions to a total of 314 students from 15 Chinese and 7 Tamil primary schools in the districts of Muar and Tangkak. [Photograph by Low Choon Hui]

For the first time, Tzu Chi Muar distributed school uniforms to students as part of the Happy Schooling Scheme. Volunteers also shared with the students on dressing etiquette and appearance, hoping that it will boost their self-confidence.


Clothing is part of our basic needs. It protects our body and keeps us warm. Ancient Chinese philosopher, Mo Zi, saw clothing as something beyond its functional values, that is its aesthetic values.

During their visits to the schools, volunteers noticed that some students wore worn out or unfitting uniforms. Thus, for the first time, Tzu Chi Muar organized a uniform distribution event, as part of its Happy Schooling Scheme. The targeted recipients were underprivileged students. Each of them received two sets of uniforms, two pairs of socks and a pair of shoes. The aim was to establish a good image for individuals and schools, and to cultivate good habits and self-discipline. This will enhance the students’ self-confidence, thereby motivating them to put more efforts in their studies.

Fifteen distribution ceremonies were conducted from June 11 to 20, 2017, with involvement from 213 volunteers (repeat headcount included). The distributions benefitted a total of 314 students from 15 Chinese and 7 Tamil primary schools in the districts of Muar and Tangkak.

Volunteers started to prepare for the distribution event a few months earlier, by gathering individual measurements and contacting the suppliers. This was to ensure a smooth operation and that the recipients would get proper fitting uniforms.

Before each session commenced, volunteers assisted the girls to comb and tidy their hair, and gave students a hair trim if needed. They also guided the students to take care of their appearance, while respecting their requests for their desired hairstyle, thereby giving them a fresh and neat appearance.

Beyond material aid

Principal Goh Bak Kiaw of SJK(C) Nan Hwa revealed that some students had only a set of uniforms, which they wear for the whole week. The school was concerned about the students’ personal hygiene, and the teachers would remind them to wash their uniforms frequently.

With the uniforms from Tzu Chi, the students will now have an extra pair for changing. Principal Goh is certain that it will help the students in their physical and mental growth, and increase their hygiene awareness. The school thanked Tzu Chi for the assistance and will urge the students to practise self-discipline.

Koh Chew Yan, Senior Assistant of SJK(C) Pei Chai, informed that fewer charitable organizations had gone to the school in recent years; and that Tzu Chi was the only organization that visited the school this year. She was thankful for the visit and aid from Tzu Chi as the new uniforms will help to reduce the parents’ financial burden.

She added, “It also creates awareness among the students that being neat and tidy is a sign of self-love and self-discipline, and a form of respect for others.”

Motivation to progress in studies

Punitha a/p Mohan, a teacher with SJK(T) Ladang Tangkak, brought eight students to the distribution event. She shared that Tzu Chi is a charitable organization that transcends racial borders and truly exhibits the spirit of “One Malaysia”. She expressed her appreciation to the volunteers and staff for their great assistance in the application process. That had enabled her to render help to needy students.

She informed that these students from low-income household or single-parent family had performed satisfactorily in their studies. They were delighted when notified that they were recipients of the school uniforms. She believed that this caring action will encourage the students to work harder and progress further in their studies.

With only one pair of uniforms

A parent, K. Reavathy shared that her family has received aid from Tzu Chi for a long period of time, including emergency assistance when her youngest daughter needed treatments for her eye disease. In recent years, Tzu Chi also provides study grants to her three school-going children. She was happy and grateful for the assistance, which had reduced the burden on her family.

Each year when school reopens, she needs to fork out a lot of money for the children’s school expenses, and could only use the remaining funds to buy for her children a new set of uniforms. Her children would take turns to get their new uniforms. As her children had only one set of uniforms each, she would need to wash their uniforms daily as soon as they returned home, so that they could wear the uniforms again the following day.

The haircut service provided for her children that day had also saved her about RM8 per person. Although they are not wealthy, she is contented as her children are diligent in their studies.

With the new uniforms, the students can now attend school happily with a neat and tidy appearance. Besides their studies, volunteers also cared about the students’ etiquette, helping them to gain more self-confidence through the provision of uniforms. A happy campus is not a dream but involves teamwork between the school and volunteers.

 

 

Volunteers gave the students a fresh and neat look before the start of each session. [Photograph by Low Choon Hui]   Principal Koh Chew Yan of SJK(C) Pei Chai (front row, 1st right) hoped the students would understand that wearing a neat uniform is a representation of self-love and self-discipline, and a form of respect for others. [Photograph by Lv Chun Ling]

Volunteers gave the students a fresh and neat look before the start of each session. [Photograph by Low Choon Hui]
 
Principal Koh Chew Yan of SJK(C) Pei Chai (front row, 1st right) hoped the students would understand that wearing a neat uniform is a representation of self-love and self-discipline, and a form of respect for others. [Photograph by Lv Chun Ling]
 
A parent, Reavathy, thanked Tzu Chi for the assistance, which had eased her family’s burden. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]   Punitha a/p Mohan, a teacher with SJK(T) Ladang Tangkak, felt that the provision of school uniforms is a caring act, which will motivate the students to strive harder in their studies. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]

A parent, Reavathy, thanked Tzu Chi for the assistance, which had eased her family’s burden. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]
 
 
Punitha a/p Mohan, a teacher with SJK(T) Ladang Tangkak, felt that the provision of school uniforms is a caring act, which will motivate the students to strive harder in their studies. [Photograph by Kang Miew Tiang]