The ministry is trying to improve discipline in a fast-changing society anxious to hold on to its traditional values. The uniformed groups are intended to complement formal classroom education and as a means of inculcating "wholesome values".
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the education minister, said: "Activities like camping, marching and social work will help to inculcate discipline, creativity and tolerance in pupils."
His ministry is training more teachers to be in charge of the groups and recently held a Malaysian Schools Uniformed Units Tattoo involving 3,200 secondary pupils. Its theme was Discipline is the Basis to Success.