Remove barriers at main entrances, Maszlee tells varsities

Education Minister Maszlee Malik has instructed public universities today to remove barrier poles at the main entrances of their campuses. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Education Minister Maszlee Malik has instructed public universities today to remove barrier poles at the main entrances of their campuses. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, June 6 — Education Minister Maszlee Malik has instructed public universities today to remove barrier poles at the main entrances of their campuses.

He said this would help to remove any barrier for society to engage in intellectual discussion and dialogue as well as exchanging ideas.

“We want the universities’ environment to be on the same level as those in developed nations, such as Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge,” he said following the ministry’s buka puasa event at SMK Putrajaya Presint 11(1) here.

Although there is no penalty if the universities do not comply, Maszlee said they would likely be criticised for not doing so by their own student body.

“Even more so if other universities decide to adopt the open-minded approach instead of being closed off,” he said.

Additionally, Maszlee said the ministry has established a taskforce to look into how it can alleviate the burden of primary schoolchildren who have to carry many textbooks.

“In light of the many concerns raised by parents about the heavy load their children have to carry everyday, we have also authorised school principals and teachers to use their own discretion and initiative in lightening the load.

“I hope to be able to make this a Hari Raya Aidilfitri present of sorts to parents everywhere, once their children return to school from the holidays,” he said, adding he would also personally monitor the situation.