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School CP - May 2004

Corpun file 13337


The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 7 May 2004

Caning in schools fully justified

SOME parents have conveniently overlooked the fact that school is a basic-education and character-building centre and this is the main purpose for sending our children there.

While doing so, we must have trust and confidence in teachers, otherwise the whole purpose is defeated.

In the rat-race urban society, parents tend to leave their children's well being to teachers while they engage in ringgit-chasing.

There is nothing wrong in ringgit-chasing as long as they understand the price involved.

The number of incidents reported in the media about crimes committed by students is too serious for comfort. I feel that bringing back the rod to classrooms is fully justified.

I have five school-going children and have no complaints about teachers using the cane if my children were found not observing school rules.

Kuala Lumpur.

(via e-mail)

1995-2002 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

Corpun file 13343


New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 7 May 2004

Headmistress faces demotion

By Jaspal Singh

IPOH, May 06: A Tamil school headmistress who allegedly attacked a male teacher in her school with a cane will likely be demoted and transferred.

State Education Department director Datuk Adnan Ibrahim hinted that disciplinary action against the headmistress would be "quite drastic".

He said the department had informed the Education Ministry of the action to be taken against the headmistress.

Adnan said the department, in a meeting which lasted until late last night, had decided that "a person should only hold the job if he or she can handle it".

This prompted reporters to ask him if the headmistress, who is in her 50s, would be demoted, to which he answered: "It can be interpreted that way".

According to Adnan, the headmistress was formerly a senior assistant at another Tamil primary school before she was promoted to her current post as headmistress of the Tamil primary school in Rungkup near Teluk Intan.

He said the incident happened last Friday during a meeting which turned sour when the teacher criticised the headmistress's proposal to overcome students' disciplinary problems.

"Annoyed by constant opposition by the male teacher, the headmistress took out a cane and assaulted him," he said.

Copyright 2004 NST Online. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 13376


New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 15 May 2004

Education Ministry has no objections to caning pledge, says Hishammuddin

KLUANG, May 14: The Education Ministry has no objection to the plan by SMK Jabi in Alor Star to make it compulsory for students to sign a pledge allowing them to be caned if they commit serious offences.

Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein said schools were allowed to implement suitable disciplinary measures.

He said that in SMK Jabi's case, the school even had the backing of its Parent-Teacher Association.

"What is being proposed by the school is not a problem as caning is not new. The regulations clearly state that justifiable caning in schools is allowed.

"I have checked the regulations and have not found anything wrong with the school's plan." Hishammuddin, who made a surprise visit to SMK Ulu Belitong, 30km from here, however, said he did not intend to direct schools to come up with new ideas to check indiscipline.

SMK Jabi has decided that students registered at the school from 2005 onwards must sign the pledge and parents and guardians who disagree with the ruling can have their children transferred.

On the possibility that some parents might object to the plan, Hishammuddin reminded them that it was easy to blame others, especially when one's children was [sic] found to be indisciplined.

"Let me stress that disciplining the young is not the task of headmasters and teachers alone.

"Parents should also play their role." The minister said he would meet the National Union of the Teaching Profession, the police, the Parent-Teacher Associations and other non-governmental organisations on May 24 to discuss ways to tackle disciplinary problems in schools.

Copyright 2004 NST Online. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 13375


New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 16 May 2004

View Points

Malay daily highlights two educational issues

By Ramlan Said and Lim Chee Wei

TWO educational issues were highlighted by Berita Harian yesterday, including one in its editorial. Commenting on the plan by SMK Jabi, which wanted its students to sign a pledge allowing them to be caned if they committed serious offences, the daily said the move could become a model, especially if it proved effective in curbing disciplinary problems in school.

It believed that schools would only impose caning for serious offences like theft, molest, bullying and vandalism.

"In schools with a bad record of discipline, caning can be considered justifiable but it will be a different story if it is implemented in trouble-free schools." In the SMK Jabi's case, the paper felt that as the school's parent-teacher association had endorsed the plan, there was no reason why it could not be implemented.

The only aspect of the move questioned by Berita Harian was on asking parents unhappy with the ruling to enrol their children in other schools.

The other education story was the revelation that police had identified 259 secondary schools in the country deemed as "problematic", in which serious attention was needed to address indiscipline among their students.

The list was issued by Bukit Aman and the matter was discussed by the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation early this month.

The foundation, reported the story, planned to revive 60 per cent of the 1,500 school crime prevention clubs found to be inactive.

MCPF vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said most disciplinary cases in schools reported involved drug abuse, gangsterism, violent and property crimes.

He agreed that the number of problematic schools could be higher as the statistics were based on police reports, giving rise to the possibility that some schools might not have gone to the police to protect their reputation.


Copyright 2004 The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 13470


New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 28 May 2004

Wrong to cane girls

I REFER to the request by teachers to seek power to cane female students. Mahatma Gandhi said, "If we know how much passive violence we perpetrate against one another, we will understand why there is so much physical violence plaguing societies and the world." Just to feel empowered to use corporal punishment against children, irrespective of whether we use that force or not, is in itself an act of passive violence.

To establish a climate of peace and non-violence, we need to commit ourselves to non-violent living from the word go.

Those who wish to mete out corporal punishment would argue "Spare the rod and spoil the child". Generally speaking, caning students may be a necessary evil; it is bad enough to cane the boys but to extend it to the girls is, I think, taking the exercise a bit too far.

Will corporal punishment contribute to students' success? Parents themselves often find that after hitting their children they are left with a sense of guilt and remorse.


Copyright 2004 The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 14291


New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 28 May 2004

The swoosh factor

By Anita Anandarajah


IS caning the answer to curb the rise of bullying and gangsterism in schools? ANITA ANANDARAJAH speaks to secondary school students to find out why they feel it will work, or won't.

IT takes a fair measure of bravado - or blind obedience - to stand still with your hand outstretched for the cane, particularly when you know how badly it is going to hurt.

And Govind Nair knows only too well the searing pain that comes after the swoosh of the rotan. The 19-year-old from Kluang, Johor, has had his fair share of run-ins with the discipline teacher - and his trusty cane.

He readily admits that he had it coming in some instances. His misdemeanours range from sporting a goatee to skiving off school, and often enough to warrant a few lashes on the hand.

Throughout Form Four, Govind sported a finely-trimmed goatee and a gleaming scalp. "I'm Indianlah ... If I shave today, I'll have a full beard tomorrow!" he joked.

Only four years ago, the then Deputy Education Minister Datuk Aziz Shamsuddin had said that the Education Ministry would not resort to bringing back the cane to counter gangsterism in schools.

He considered public caning to discipline wayward students an "outdated" measure.

SMK Alor Jabi in Alor Star has taken the bold (though questionable) step to get its students to sign a pledge allowing the school to cane them should they commit a serious crime. It will commence next year.


Although Govind admits that he deserved the punishment for his repeated disregard of the teacher's instructions, he feels however that caning a student for his facial hair is unwarranted.

"Although I would shave it all off every time I got caned, I'd still grow it back. So you see, there was no lasting effect," he said. "Just get rotan-ed againlah."

"There was this instance, though, when the entire class was whacked. We had this exercise that every student had to carry out - writing down texts of speeches delivered by teachers during assembly. One day, this guy was chosen to read out the speech, but he hadn't transcribed it. So the whole class was caned. Sure, whack the guy for not doing his work, but why punish everyone else?


A 14-year-old male student from Kuala Lumpur was singled out to be caned in front of the whole school when he and his friends were caught smoking.

"The discipline master explained that he wanted to make an example out of me and that it wasn't necessary to punish the others. That was totally unfair. I know that I fully deserved it, and I've landed myself in trouble many times, but the cane should be used equally," he said.

The student said that a discipline master should also provide a reasonable explanation for the punishment instead of hitting out in frustration.


(Copyright 2004)

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