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School CP - November 2003

Corpun file 12242


Utusan Express, Kuala Lumpur, 1 November 2003

Eight errant students can sit for SPM exam


JOHOR BAHRU Sept 24 - The eight Sekolah Menengah Teknik Batu Pahat students who allegedly assaulted a schoolmate last month will be allowed to sit for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination pending further action.

State Education Manpower, Youth, Sports and Culture Committee chairman Ahmad Zahri Jamil said the state education department was arranging to transfer them to other schools so that they could sit for the examination following appeals from their families.


Ahmad Zahri said statistics from the state education department showed that disciplinary action was taken against 6,289 students in the state up to middle of this month, which was only 1.014 percent of the total school enrolment of 620,000 in Johor.

Of this, 1,200 was given advice and 2,906, warnings for small offences.

A total of 1,264 students received caning of one stroke, 416 two strokes and 201 three strokes, he said, adding that for more serious offences 258 students were suspended and 34 expelled.

Two students in residential schools were suspended and eight expelled from their hostels, he added.


UTUSAN MELAYU (M) BHD., 46M, Jalan Lima Off Jalan Chan Sow Lin, 55200 Kuala Lumpur.

Corpun file 12289


The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 9 November 2003


Unfair to cane boys only

I STRONGLY oppose the use of the cane. The Government has announced that teachers are empowered to use the cane. This is a biased form of punishment as only boys are caned but not girls.

Has anyone considered the feelings of those poor boys who get caned, especially if they have to face the humiliation of public caning?

If the authorities feel that caning is offensive and too harsh for girls, they should have the same consideration for boys and treat them with respect.

I have heard of a male teacher who only spanks schoolboys whose fathers are illiterate or of low standing in society, but if the delinquent's father is a diplomat, he is spared!

Empowering teachers to cane schoolboys for light offences, such as forgetting to bring textbooks, not doing homework, playing truant etc, is like giving a baboon a time-bomb or bazooka.

One must try to understand the nature and character of the errant pupil, and why he did what he did. There are boys who don't like schooling but are forced to attend school. The Government's approval for using the rod will only terrify or create an inferiority complex among schoolboys who may even harbour hatred and resentment toward authority.

Do we want our boys to grow up cruel and hateful or to have love and respect for teachers?

Senator Datuk M. Kayveas is right in saying that students should visit prisons and rehabilitation centres to see for themselves the consequences they face if they commit offences or crimes.

Students should take a look at the rotan used on convicts and pay a visit to the gallows.


Corpun file 12290

Caning necessary sometimes

I HAVE been following the issue of caning in school with both amusement and impatience. I am a mother of three and have only caned one of my children once.

I have also been an educator for 25 years and have dealt with difficult teens.

Allow me to make a few comments. Firstly, before anyone says, "Bring back the cane" or "Teachers shouldn't use the cane", please come to my school and get to know the actual situation.

We have a range of offences, from coming to school late to threatening other students with iron rods and chairs. The former can be repeated 30 to 40 times year, with excuses like having to work the night before, parents not able to bring them earlier, or simply: Tak boleh bangun (Can't get up).

It is easy to say talk to them, talk to their parents or send them to counsellors. In many cases, what is required is understanding from parents and teaching the child the right thing to do. For example, if he has to work to support the family, teach him to manage his time and help him get financial help; if tidak boleh bangun, sleep earlier and get an alarm clock. A bit of spanking is in order when students repeatedly misbehave or break school rules. In other words, empathise but don't sympathise.

Many fear the use of the cane might be abused. But how come nothing is said about verbal abuse? Children can be screamed at, shouted at and even threatened. A school counsellor threatened my friend's son till he had nightmares.

Schools need people who can give problematic pupils their time - talk to them, understand them, and punish them appropriately if need be. Learning that punishment is part and parcel of life is also education!

Lastly, teachers allowed to handle the cane must be trained technically and psychologically.

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