Parents spend RM200-RM400 per child
Published on: Sunday, January 05, 2020
By: Mardinah Jikur, Mail Mathew and Christy Chok
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Uniforms and school supplies on sale in Tenom.
MOST parents have to spend anywhere between RM200 and RM400 for each child in equipping them for the new school term. 

A single mother of one, Aqiellah Abdul Aziz, 31, said she spent about RM400 for her only son, Mohd Aniq Emir Mohd Noor Ehsan, who is in Class 1 Cekap of SRK Sung Siew Sandakan.

She said the cost is similar when her son studied at Pasti Saidina Hamzah, Taman Damai, Mile 4, Sandakan, last year, for kindergarten.

“On his first day of school at SRK Sung Siew, my son is so excited to go,” she said.

Also excited was Aqiellah’s father, who also Aniq’s grandfather, Abdul Aziz Kambai, who was on hand to send him to school. Aniq is the only grandchildren in the family.

Meanwhile, at SK Sri Tanjung Papat 1 Sandakan, another parent Marilyn Bahar, 45, said it’s the weather that concerns her most as they lived on island at Pulau Berhala Sandakan.

They also have to charter villagers’ boat to go back to their village since the “taxi boat” or the huge “penambang” boat which is the main transportation for villagers is not available after 5.30pm.

Her son, Mohd Akmal Elnedo, is a Primary One pupil at SK Tanjung Papat 1 Sandakan. Another child is a Primary Five pupil at the same school. 

Another child is a Form One student at SMK Sandakan.

She and her husband, who is a fisherman, spent about RM250 per child and about RM300 for the secondary school stuff.

As for boat and bus fee, they spend about RM8 for one child at the secondary school per day and RM5.60 per person for them to ride the boat and bus to the school. 


Parents at the premises of SJKC Yuk Chin, Tawau, while waiting for school to end.

In TENOM, some parents complained about the back-to-school expenses, especially children entering primary school for the first time.

The situation is worsening when the price of goods, especially schooling needs increased.

A 25-year-old housewife, known only as Neng, spent RM138 to provide one-year school supplies and accessories for her daughter, where each piece of clothing needs two pairs.

The following is a list of school supplies and accessories she purchased: pinafore blouses/skirts (RM24 a pair), followed by stockings (RM9.90 a pair), school bag that costs RM25 and shoes (RM23 a pair). 

Veronica Mail, who has a Primary One son spent less than Neng. 

These are her purchases: a pair of uniform shirts and pants (RM23), while 2 shoes (a pair costs RM24), school bag (RM25 each), a pair of socks (RM10.50).

However, it does not include the 10 per cent discount offered by a provider known as Secret Online Tenom.

In TAWAU, Serena Wong, the mother Graham Lim, 8, claimed the price of school shoes and uniform increased slightly this year.

She spent RM190 in November, last year, for the school fees and miscellaneous charges which remained unchanged.

She paid another RM20 for the school exercise books at SJKC Sin Hwa, Tawau when school reopened.

Earlier, she also bought two sets of school uniforms which cost RM64 each, four pairs of black socks costing RM10.90 each as well as a pair of black shoes costing her RM39. Graham used back his old school bag this year.

Meanwhile, another mother – “Madam Lee” – who made a school dress for her four-year-old at the tailor said the school uniform sold in the market nowadays are expensive and most of the fabric is thin. 

This led her to buy some fabric and sent it to a tailor to make school uniforms for her daughters, which cost RM27 each set.

She was also forced to order white school shoes for her daughter from DaoBao online due to the limited stocks in the market now. The selling price online is also much cheaper.

“The price of one pair of white shoes I bought online was about RM12 compared to the market price range of RM25-RM40. The school fee for my daughter at SJKC Yuk Chin Kindergarten Tawau is RM170 monthly,” she said.


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