Archive for the ‘Behaviour / discipline management’ Category

NUTP against proposal to abolish school expulsion for problematic students

Saturday, December 9th, 2017
(File pix) National Union of Teaching Profession Malaysia (NUTP) is against abolishing school expulsion as punishment for problematic students

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Union of Teaching Profession Malaysia (NUTP) is against abolishing school expulsion as punishment for problematic students as proposed by Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

Its secretary-general, Harry Tan Huat Hock said the school is an institution to educate and requires effective regulations to save students from negative elements.

Cases involving students with severe disciplinary problems leading to expulsion as punishment should be seen as a welfare case and to be managed by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM).

“KPWKM has the power and its own Act to address problematic students as well as having established rehabilitation centres including Asrama Akhlak, Sekolah Tunas Bakti and Taman Seri Puteri to accommodate girls and boys who are expelled from schools.

“For expelled students, their names will be submitted to the Social Welfare Department and investigations will be conducted in search of the cause and solution. Based on that, the problems associated with expelled students should be managed by KPWKM,” he said in a statement on Friday.

Tan said the Ministry of Education did not have the ability to control and rehabilitate students who have serious disciplinary problems including drug abuse and gangsterism as most teachers were only trained in academic that focused on teaching and learning.


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Bullying prevention week for schools in the works.

Monday, November 13th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: An annual bullying prevention week may be on the cards for Malaysian schools, thanks to an initiative by Star Media Group and property developer SP Setia.

#StandTogether is a nationwide campaign, spearheaded by The Star’s R.AGE team, calling for the first week of April to be designated as an annual bullying prevention week in schools across the country.

The campaign will be launched by Tengku Datin Paduka Setia Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah at a special event today at 2pm at Setia International Centre.

Celebrities such as Lisa Surihani, JinnyBoy, Jenn Chia, Paperplane Pursuit and Arwind Kumar have pledged their support to the campaign, and will be speaking about their personal experiences with school bullying at the launch.

To follow today’s launch event, which will also feature a musical performance by Chia, follow R.AGE on Facebook (

Schools and organisations interested in taking part in the #StandTogether campaign can contact R.AGE via email (, Facebook Messen-ger (@thestarRAGE), or WhatsApp (+60172834406).

R.AGE is also producing a documentary series about school violence in Malaysia. A teaser will be released today after the launch.

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Education Ministry to work with Mahatma Gandhi Institute on pilot project to address school disciplinary issues

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017
(File pix) Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (left) during a meeting at Unesco headquarters in Paris, France, Nov 1, 2017. The Education Ministry is collaborating with the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to carry out a pilot project aimed at addressing disciplinary issues in schools.

PARIS: The Education Ministry is collaborating with the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to carry out a pilot project aimed at addressing disciplinary issues in schools.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said five schools in the country will be selected for the pilot project, under the Preventing Violent Extremism Through Education programme, which will be carried out in a span of three years beginning next year.

He said through the collaboration with Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), the ministry hoped to come up with a holistic solution to problematic students involved in disciplinary, bully and gangsterism.

He said besides Malaysia, four other countries namely India, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Kenya had been selected by MGIEP to carry out programme.

“Through the programme, students will be trained to develop competencies of Critical Inquiry, Empathy, Compassion, and Mindfulness aimed at addressing violence behaviour

“For a start, Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Ipoh, Perak has volunteered to be part of the pilot project while the remaining four other schools will be selected by the ministry,” he told reporters at the the 39th Unesco general assembly here.

He said the matter was decided during his meeting with the MGEIP director Dr Anantha K Duraiappah at the sidelined of the assembly.

Mahdzir added that through the collaboration, MGEIP would help to identify the problem statement and correlation between the students, schools and the environment surrounding, to the disciplinary issue and violence act in schools.

“We will study findings from the pilot project and if the method used in the programme is suitable in addressing the issue, we will adopt it into our education system.

This is just one of the initiatives undertaken by the ministry but at the same time we are also looking into other methods to address the issue,” he said.

Mahdzir said Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman administrators and an officer from the ministry had attended a workshop for the programme which was held at its headquarters in New Delhi in August where they were briefed on the programme.


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Police identify 420 schools as high risk for substance abuse.

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The police and the Education Ministry have identified 420 schools nationwide as high risk for serious drug abuse, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

He said yesterday if the matter was not handled, it could become widespread.

“If the drug menace is nipped in the bud, we will be able to maintain our system and not have to resort to extreme policies,” he said after launching Cipta 2018 at Universiti Malaya.

Nur Jazlan, who is also Malaysian Drug Prevention Association (Pema­dam) president, said random tests on 36,675 schoolchildren in 2015 found 1,475 positive for drugs.

On drug abuse among students in tertiary institutions, Nur Jazlan said the number was negligible.

A screening of 11,000 students in public universities nationwide from January to June showed only 250 tested positive, while 158 of 4,000 students screened in private colleges and universities were also positive.

“One of the reasons they take drugs is to cope with examination pressure and to stay awake at night to study,” he said.

The Cipta 2018 campaign was launched by Pemadam to bring the association closer to youth groups through a competition to create a logo, slogan, songs and videos.
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Fresh ideas needed to combat drug abuse

Friday, October 13th, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: A translational research focusing on vulnerable groups need to be done continuously in the never-ending battle against drug abuse.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) deputy vice chancellor, Prof. Dr. Shahril Yusof said post-graduate students need to think outside of the box to come up with fresh ideas and propose something different in search of more effective drug preventive measures.

“Students should not be afraid of failures; you should propose something different in terms of prevention measures, then only we will move forward.

“That is what the academia world is about-to do researches, tests and not be afraid to fail,” asserted Shahril. He was speaking during the national-level Interactive Seminar: Counselling and Substance Abuse, Smart Sharing Programme (SHARP) 2017 here yesterday.

Shahril added that it is crucial to evaluate and assess current existing programmes to determine its effectiveness and whether such programmes have shown good results.

“There is no point for the government to spend millions of money when nobody assesses the results. Whether it is good to continue, or needs to be changed – that is the role of postgraduate students,” he said.

According to him, it is fundamental to identify vulnerable groups before proposing and implementing prevention measures and activities.

“All the efforts will be meaningless if we do not know the vulnerable groups. We should not simply continue what others are doing because there are different situations in Malaysia.

“When I was in Kuala Lumpur, most drug abuse cases involve intravenous drug abuse which lead to diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV,” he explained.

Shahril further said that the scenario differs in Sabah where most drug abuse involve inhalants such as glue and methamphetamine which proves the situations to appear in a whole different spectrum.

“This is a never-ending story and the fight must continue with young people actively involved in the battle,” he noted.

Organised by UMS Postgraduate Specialty Programme for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SPADA) under the Psychology and Education Faculty (FPP), the annual programme is a platform for information and ideas sharing where participants will be exposed to drug issues.

“The causes and effects of drugs will be presented and discussed in this programme as well as preventive measures that have been identified such as the Biopsychosocial Spiritual which can be highlighted by the government,” said FPP dean, Prof. Dr. Mohd. Dahlan A. Malek.


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Try care instead of the cane, teachers urged.

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

PETALING JAYA: There must be another way for teachers to discipline students without resorting to corporal punishment, said a child therapist.

Priscilla Ho said teachers could connect with their students through compassion and by being caring to groom them, instead of instilling fear.

She was commenting on Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid’s statement that school heads are allowed to delegate the caning of students to a teacher if necessary.

However Mahdzir said the caning must not be done in public and must be carried out according to stipulated procedures.

Ho said the ministry should consider reviewing the education system to have values such as care and compassion as part of teaching and learning.

“Knowing teachers are stressed out from the burden of work, the system should be revamped.

“Everybody needs to come together and be creative in their approach,” she said.

She said that caning a student privately does not do any good because perception plays an important role.

“Once you are called out in front of your classmates, there is already an impression that you are a troublemaker.

“It affects the child’s self esteem and many students are put to shame,” she said, adding that some students were traumatised after witnessing the caning of a classmate.

There is always a better way to discipline a student, she said.

Peter Selvaraju, 57, a parent, believes that only school heads or discipline teachers should have the right to cane students.

“Teachers are overburdened with work and may enter classrooms without being in the right mood.

“They might take out their anger on the students when caning them,” he said.

Another parent, Mohd Ashik Abdullah, 42, said caning students was a rational punishment.

“Doing it to teach and remind them not to repeat their mistakes is fine but it should not be an avenue for teachers to release their anger on students.

“Punishment must not harm the students,” he said.

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School heads can now delegate caning to teachers.

Friday, September 29th, 2017

BANGI: Teachers are allowed to cane students but only if the school head gives the go-ahead.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said school heads are allowed to delegate caning to a teacher if the need arises.

“However, caning cannot be done in public and must be done according to stipulated procedures,” he said after officiating the closing ceremony for the national level Excellent Cluster Schools Convention 2017.

He was commenting on a Malay daily’s report on Wednesday that the Education Ministry was studying whether to let teachers use the cane.

According to the daily, Mahdzir said the move, if adopted, would help curb social ills in schools. He said some quarters were against caning, but whether counselling alone was effective in dealing with disciplinary problems is questionable.

The ministry, he said, would update and make its existing guidelines more holistic.

Based on a 2003 circular, Mahdzir clarified that school heads, at their discretion, can appoint other teachers to cane students. However, he added, the strict caning guidelines must be followed.

These include no public caning, girls cannot be caned and only a light strike on either the hand or covered buttocks.

The caning must also be documented, according to the circular.

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan said allowing teachers to cane students reduces disciplinary issues, misdemeanour and criminal offences.

Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin, however, doesn’t think caning is necessary if the teachers and school heads are good.

He said a weak teacher would have a harder time controlling the class and handling students.
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Lam Thye: Rise of bullying among youths a big concern.

Monday, August 28th, 2017

PETALING JAYA: The spate of bullying and violent behaviour among youths has become a grave concern for the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation.

Its senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic) said negative influences from their peers and the Internet, insufficient parental guidance and elements of gangsterism were the reasons for their involvement in crime.

“It’s more disturbing when violent acts are committed by pupils in primary schools as previously, such cases involved only older students,” he said in a statement.

Lee was referring to a recent incident in Kapit where a seven-year- old pupil died after being assaulted by his seniors at a primary school hostel.

The Year One pupil sustained multiple wounds and bruises on his head and body after he was allegedly kicked and punched multiple times.

Lee said the government and other stakeholders must find the reasons why juveniles are behaving violently and disobeying the law.

“Matters of indiscipline such as truancy, misbehaviour, thefts and fights leading to violence and injury must not be tolerated even if such problems are not alarming in our schools and universities,” he said.

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Disciplining kids begins at home

Sunday, August 20th, 2017
A vicious cycle: Bullying, gangsterism, drug abuse and other problems persist due to the inability to stem the tide.

A vicious cycle: Bullying, gangsterism, drug abuse and other problems persist due to the inability to stem the tide.

HERE we go again, talking about so-called “hotspot” schools tainted by disciplinary problems, like bullying, gangsterism and drug abuse.

A list of 402 schools nationwide marked as schools saddled with these issues, and requiring special attention from the relevant authorities, has leaked on social media.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon said, of the total, 311 were in the category of schools with disciplinary issues while 91 are “hotspots” or have the potential of becoming problematic schools.

A furore has exploded because the list is now in the public domain. And stoking the fires of controversy even further, “good schools” are also to be found on the list, with parents demanding explanations for these tarnished images a natural consequence.

However, the “sinister” reality is, this issue has remained unresolved for decades, quite like an unsolvable case from a crime caper. Every education minister who has come and gone has flashed the badge and shot from the lip.

Almost all have spun that proverbial cliché, “kita tidak akan kompromi” (we will not compromise) in their oath to deal with these delinquents.

Like a rehashed script, the false promises have rolled out; “will take action,” and “take this seriously” or “go after the culprits”.

In the end, though, the problem continues to persist, and worryingly, has now even flourished. The authorities have been able to do little to stem the tide.

To put it succinctly, these education ministers have failed miserably. The countless meetings between the police, educators and parents, are sadly, wasted resource. And from these shindigs, a silly number of committees and sub-committees have been set up over spreads of kuih and coffee, while their reports are likely languishing in the dust.

Of course, no one wants to concede failure. But, for amusement’s sake, hit the search engines on this issue, and see the cyclical nature of the problem. It is rampant and repetitive.

In 2004, 16-year-old student Farid Ibrahim was killed when he was bashed up by seniors at the hostel of SM Agama Datuk Klana Putra Ma’amor in Seremban.

Earlier, in 2000, then Education director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Abdullah had urged school principals not to sweep cases under the carpet, “as has happened in the past”, when they encounter gang activities in schools.

Former Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Mohamed Bakri Omar revealed in 2003 that there were 5,320 criminal cases involving students, crimes including drug abuse, stealing, robbery, extortion, rape and murder – in statistics, a 22.7% increase from the 2002 figure of 4,200.

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Education Ministry: Actions taken to help schools deal with disciplinary, drug problems

Saturday, August 19th, 2017
Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan yesterday explained that the 402 schools did not necessarily have hard core disciplinary issues such as drugs or bullying. (pix by SALHANI IBRAHIM)

SHAH ALAM: The Education Ministry has taken various measures to tackle problems plaguing the 402 schools identified as hotspots for disciplinary and drug problems.

The Ministry said today that among others, it has offered legal literacy course to principals at the said schools and those under the Visionary Teen Programme (Program Remaja Berwawasan), a National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) between the Malaysian Armed Forces and police.

“The Armed forces and police have joined hands under the NBOS to mobilise their expertise to discipline students.

“Students attend weekly training session at schools and Summer Camp programme will be held at the Armed forces camps or police training centres.

“Police also play a role as School Liaison Officers tasked to assist them in addressing disciplinary issues.

“Bukit Aman Crime Prevention and Community Safety Department has distributed names of the schools involved to the relevant police headquarters for monitoring purposes,” the ministry’s School Management Division stated.

The Ministry hopes the efforts taken will be welcomed by the schools involved.

The New Straits Times had on Friday revealed list of schools that were identified as hotspots for disciplinary and drugs problems by sources.

Selangor topped with 76 schools on the list, which divided the schools into two categories, namely discipline (Category 1), and discipline with drug issues (Category 3).

The second highest was Johor with 63 (including one on Category 3), followed by Negri Sembilan (40, with five on Category 3), while Penang and Pahang shared the fourth spot with 37 schools each.


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