Fierce debate among Malaysians over school providing stools for students to sit during assemblies

·3-min read

A primary school in Johor that provided stools for its students to sit on during their daily assembly has generated heated discussion among Malaysians over whether kids these days are being coddled too much.

After being shared on Facebook by a teacher group, images of the school implementing the use of seats for its students quickly went viral. Since it was posted on Saturday, the post has received over 4,000 likes, 3,000 shares, and 2,000 comments.

While the simple stools seen in the photos may not seem like a luxury, many Malaysians remember growing up having to stand throughout their school’s daily assemblies or sit on the hard ground.

A number of those people complained in the comments that the seats and other efforts to make students feel more comfortable would instead cause them to grow up being “mentally and physically weak.”

“There are pros and cons… personally I prefer students to stand during assembly to train their physical and mental endurance rather than sit, many cannot even stand for less than 15 minutes. Weak souls.”

“These are the country’s future assets… where is the physical and mental endurance? It’s not evil to make them stand for a while… if the assembly goes on for too long then just let them sit on the ground… that way you build character. When they are coddled too much, they won’t know when reality hits them. This country’s assets only want comfortable things, a little difficulty and they leave.”

“Kids these days are lucky. During my time, I had to stand during assembly with prefects constantly on the lookout for kids who made noise or sat down. Still steady.”

Meanwhile, others defended the school’s decision to provide its children comfort.

They suggested that people shouldn’t draw comparisons between the past and the present and that just because someone suffered in the past doesn’t mean that the current generation has to go through the same thing.

“These uncles and aunties talking about ‘during my days’ need to move on. Busy asking others to be like them. When I was schooling, we sat during assembly yet I still became an athlete. These uncles and aunties who stood during assemblies… many had discipline issues. Enough with the criticisms. No wonder today’s generation cannot flourish because they have parents like these who think they are best.”

“People will talk no matter what we do. They will act as if they are the most righteous. We let kids sit, and you get angry. We give kids chairs, you say we are coddling them. Actually, what do you want? If the school can provide better, I’m sure they would.”

One user shared how his school had started using stools for students in 2017.

“We started this in 2017. Choose stools that are comfortable and suitable. School administrators worked to get funds for this.” 
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