Corpun file 20176
New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 8 April 2008
Three steps before teachers use the cane
By Anis Ibrahim
KUALA LUMPUR: The days of caning students
first and talking about the reasons later are over. It's now
going to be talk first -- and lots of it -- with the cane coming
The process will see discussions between school authorities and
the student, and, if necessary, his parents.
Under a three-step disciplinary process announced by the
Education Ministry yesterday, teachers will first reprimand the
student and warn him about his behaviour.
Deputy director-general of Education in the Schools Department,
Datuk Noor Rezan Bapoo Hashim, said if this failed, teachers
would discuss the matter with his parents.
If he still does not realise the error of his ways, the student
will be told to present himself before the school disciplinary
committee for a talking-to in his parents' presence.
And only if that does not do the trick will the offender be
A new element in the rules is the opportunity for the student to
defend himself before the disciplinary committee.
"The committee will read out his wrongdoings and he'll be
asked to explain himself before the committee.
"In other words, we're giving him a platform to defend
himself. We will also call his parents to be there as well,"
Noor Rezan said.
The new ground rules on caning come in the wake of public debate
over the merit and demerit of caning.
Noor Rezan said the ministry decided that the "soft
approach" should be the preferred option when student
indiscipline was a serious problem.
"Before doing anything, teachers should first reprimand the
child and warn him about his behaviour. Caning is the last
resort. I cannot stress that enough."
Speaking after a symposium on children's rights yesterday, Noor
Rezan said teachers cannot be emotional.
She said students with disciplinary problems should also be sent
"This means that in deciding how to deal with a child, we
must be guided not only by his disciplinary report, but also his
"Counsellors must co-operate and discuss problem students
with disciplinary teachers. They cannot be at loggerheads," Noor Rezan said, adding that in national schools, one counsellor was assigned to every 500
Earlier, Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) chairman
Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman opened the symposium, which was jointly
organised by Suhakam and the Education Ministry.
© Copyright 2008 The New
Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved.
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