Putrajaya not forcing hotels to lend schools their pools, says Maszlee

Education Minister Maszlee Malik speaks to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Education Minister Maszlee Malik speaks to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — Education Minister Maszlee Malik has clarified today that the proposal for hotels to offer their swimming pools to students as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes is on a voluntary basis.

Maszlee said the CSR programme is part of the 2018 Life Saving Skills programme and the Water Rescue and Safety Awareness Module launched yesterday, is part of a survival skill education to school students that is a first for the country.

“We are not forcing them but we urge the private sectors, such as hotels, clubs, associations, and even universities that have the facilities, to come forward and work together to educate the children. Our responsibility is on building the nation.

“This long-term programme aims in the next 20 years for students to not only be able to swim, but to have life-saving skills and be aware of hazards. This is part of civic education,” he said in a brief interview with several publications at his office in Parliament.

When asked on the statement by the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) that hotel swimming pools are not suited for swimming lessons for school students, Maszlee had asked for private sectors to look at the bigger picture and prioritise education.

“I leave it to the private sector, such as hotels, to volunteer but as long as they want to help the students, they are flexible in conducting the lessons.

“They can communicate with the nearest state education department to obtain the manual on the said survival skill curriculum,” he said.

Maszlee also expressed disappointment that the use of hotel swimming pools was highlighted, saying that the bigger picture had been omitted.

“One of the highlights of the curriculum on lifesaving and survival skills is swimming, which is part of our objective to shape the students holistically and not only through academic achievements,” he said.

“We want to move forward as a developed nation but sadly, what was picked up was when I was asked on how to accommodate schools that do not have the facilities, to which I suggested that they can use public swimming pools or hotels can do CSR as a way to serve the people.”

“I hope the media will be more responsible as the ministry has drawn up a new curriculum that focuses on survival skills as a guide for the safety of students and this is a first in Malaysia’s history,” he added.

Maszlee added that the 100-page manual will soon be available on the ministry’s website, and will be accessible to the public.

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