|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1996 : MY Schools Aug 1996|
Corpun file 0265 at www.corpun.com
The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 28 August 1996
Najib: Only principals can cane
GENTING HIGHLANDS: The Education Ministry had never considered giving all teachers the power to cane students, said the Minister Datuk seri Najib Tun Razak.
"Caning a student is a serious action and the highest authority in the school, the principal is the right person to do it," he told reporters after opening the national seminar on Students Discipline at Institute Aminuddin Baki yesterday.
However, he said it was up to the participants of the seminar to decide on the appropriate measures to take.
Asked if teachers would be legally protected if they carried out punishment not according to the 1959 Education (School Discipline) Regulations, he said the matter would have to be discussed by the participants at the seminar.
"We will obtain feedback on the legal implications from lawyers who have been invited to the seminar," he said.
To date, no teachers had been charged in court for misusing their powers to punish students, he said.
"We have heard of threats by parents to take cases to court but up till now, nothing has been done," he said.
Najib also said that out of 280,000 teachers in the country, only 97 cases were reported from January 1995 to June 1996.
He said the seminar would look into the present status of discipline in schools and discuss the shortcomings of the system as well as its implementation and ways to overcome it.
Corpun file 0296 at www.corpun.com
The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 31 August 1996
Seminar wants clearer guidelines on caning
GENTING HIGHLANDS: Participants of the National Seminar on Students Discipline want clearer and more standard guidelines on caning although they agreed that this form of punishment should be meted for severe indiscipline cases.
They questioned the size of the cane, part of the body to be caned and number of strokes allowed, among other things.
The participants unanimously agreed that caning could be used for severe cases of indiscipline like vandalism, theft, molestation and gangsterism, but only as a last resort after advice and counselling proved futile.
Schools division director Dr Siti Hawa Ahmad, who announced the resolutions on the final day of the seminar yesterday, stressed that there would be stricter mechanism to enforce discipline more effectively.
She said caning should be left to the school head or appointed teachers, as provided for under the existing Guidelines on School Discipline for Headmasters and Teachers.
"It must be done rationally, objectively and not taken as an avenue to vent anger or vindictiveness."
Dr Siti Hawa said it was a pity that students with an excellent knowledge in Islamic and moral education do not practise the values.
She said a masterplan would be drafted by a committee comprising a few selected people like teachers and representatives from non-governmental organisations to be forwarded to Education Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The seminar was attended by representatives of the Education Ministry, religious bodies, police, Social Welfare Department, legal profession, non-governmental organisations and teaching unions.
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