Archive for the ‘Behaviour / discipline management’ Category

Ministries to work closely to curb gangsterism in schools.

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

JOHOR BARU: There will be closer cooperation between the Home and Education ministries to curb gangsterism among schoolchildren, says Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

“Gangs will use schoolchildren to sell drugs, extort and other crimes.

“The schoolchildren don’t realise the repercussions because if they are caught, it is them who will face the brunt of the law, not their big boss,” he said yesterday.

Nur Jazlan warned secret society leaders not to use students in carrying out their illegal activities.

He said police will continue to act in a stringent manner against gangsters.

“The Prevention of Crime Act 1959 is being used against gangsters effectively,” Nur Jazlan told repor­ters after the launch of Jelajah Tani Negaraku TN50 in Pulai yesterday.

He advised school administrators with problems of gangsterism among their students to report to the police.

A report is needed as the police cannot enter a school without getting permission from the school administrators first, he said.

“For example, the National Anti-Drug Agency has been doing drug tests among school students, but this is done after the school invited them. We want similar cooperation from the schools to stop gangsterism,” he added.

On a separate matter, Nur Jazlan announced that more than 150,000 refugees in the country with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cards would be vetted by his ministry.

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Call to inculcate anti-drug culture in youngsters

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Liew and the committee after the meeting.

TAWAU: An ‘anti-drug’ culture should be inculcated among youngsters starting from primary school as they can fall prey to drug abuse regardless of age.

The chairman of Tawau Drugs Restoration Committee (DRC), Tan Sri Datuk Liew Yun Fah said drugs not only influenced 50 to 60-year-olds, but also primary school pupils nowadays.

For instance, the 19-year-old girl who tested positive for drug abuse when she drove against traffic on the PLUS highway in Peninsula and killed 26-year-old father-to-be, Mohd Fandi, recently.

“This incident might become our wake up call to step away from drugs. Everyone should take responsibility to ensure drugs are eliminated without relying on certain parties.

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Nicotine in schools

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

A whopping 36.9% of them started using e-cigs and vape between ages 14 and 15, a first-of-its-kind study by the Health Ministry recently found.

And more than three-quarters of them are either taking in nicotine or are unsure if the liquids contain the addictive chemical, reveals the Tobacco and E-cigarette Survey among Malaysian Adolescents 2016 (Tecma).

Although many adolescents say e-cigs and vape are as harmful as smoking, a third of current users do it two to five times daily.

Published on the Health Ministry’s Institute for Public Health portal on Feb 21, Tecma is the first national study to get the latest information on tobacco, e-cigarette and vape usage among Malaysians aged between 10 and 19. A total of 14,833 students from 138 schools in 15 states were surveyed.

The ministry defines devices that contain nicotine as electronic cigarette, or e-cig, and those without as vape, or vaping.

Last week, Sunday Star highlighted how more than half of these young survey participants got their smokes easily from supermarkets, grocery stores and roadside stalls. The findings are no less grim with e-cigs and vape.

Shockingly, 53.2% of users were not stopped from buying the devices and liquids despite being pupils or students.

Industry pioneers are slamming irresponsible businesses for selling these items to minors.

Vape Empire CEO Zac Ho enforces a strict rule against selling to underage kids at all of its 50 outlets nationwide.

Anyone suspected of being below 18 is asked for their identity cards to verify their age. Those underage are always turned away, he says.

Vaporizer Convention Kuala Lumpur 2017 president Ibrahim Mohamed feels it is mostly individuals who are spoiling the industry’s reputation.

The convention to be held on March 31 features 167 vendors from 16 countries.

Those below 18 will not be allowed in without adult supervision and any participant who sells to minors will be asked to leave immediately, he assures.

“These immoral and unethical sellers are taking advantage of minors. Proper shops won’t do this. If I see anyone selling to students, I’ll report them to the authorities. Such shops must be shut down.”

Universiti Malaya nicotine addiction specialist Assoc Prof Dr Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin believes there is a “high possibility” of e-cig and vape users moving on to cigarettes.

It’s been his concern all along.

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Survey sheds light on shocking truth about student smokers.

Sunday, March 5th, 2017
‘High’ number: Students in uniform smoking near a fast food outlet in this file picture. According to a Health Ministry survey, the number of youngsters picking up the habit is astonishing.

‘High’ number: Students in uniform smoking near a fast food outlet in this file picture. According to a Health Ministry survey, the number of youngsters picking up the habit is astonishing.

PETALING JAYA: A 10-year-old in uniform takes a drag on his cigarette and the nicotine hits. For every five boys, there is one just like him, reveals the country’s first-of-its-kind study by the Health Ministry.

The habit is easy to feed, especially when cigarettes are blatantly being sold to students with little or no enforcement against the irres­ponsible sellers.

More than half of the students who participated in the recent survey got their smokes easily from supermarkets, grocery stores and roadside stalls.

Tobacco and E-cigarette Survey among Malaysian Adolescents 2016 (Tecma) showed that four in five knew that smoking by anyone below age 18 was an offence under the law. More than half said they weren’t prevented from buying tobacco products.

“More than one in five male adolescents are smoking cigarettes. And 36.8% of them smoked two to five sticks per day.”

Published on the Health Ministry’s Institute for Public Health portal on Feb 21, Tecma is the first national study to get the latest information on tobacco, e-cigarette and vape usage among Malaysians aged between 10 and 19.

A total of 14,833 students from 138 schools in 15 states were surveyed.

Although nearly all knew that smoking was harmful to their health, it is alarming to note that one in 10 non-smoking adolescents was likely to start smoking in future.

The highest exposure to second-hand smoke was at highway Rest and Relax stops, inside public transport vehicles as well as in parents and guardian’s cars, the survey found.

On e-cigs and vape, the survey found that most students have heard about it, and one in five has tried it.

“The technology is rapidly changing while the objective remains the same – to develop nicotine addiction among users.”

Tecma recommended that the devices be made illegal for underage users whether or not they contain nicotine, adding that intervention should be a priority because it was easier to treat a new addiction rather than an adult chain smoker.

Last month, the Health Ministry’s Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017 came into force.

Under the new regulations, smoking is no longer allowed at camp sites, game courts, playgrounds, and public parks – places popular with youngsters.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon said a ministry meeting would be held to discuss the survey.

Describing the results as shocking, he said something must be done to address the issue of student smokers.

“We must look into intensifying anti-smo­king campaigns in schools. Meanwhile, the relevant authorities must step up their enforcement efforts. We cannot allow the sale of cigarettes to students,” he said.

Universiti Malaya nicotine addiction specialist Assoc Prof Dr Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin is worried too.

“It’s no secret. Even with our new legislation of increasing smoke-free areas, the main issue is with enforcement,” he said, adding that more officers were needed.

The addiction, he said, was a chronic di­sease.

After only three cigarettes, brain receptors become saturated. A developing brain chan­ges as a result of early experimentation. Subsequent addiction is lifelong, he warned.

Calling for strict regulation and enforcement, he’s also concerned about the possibility of e-cig and vape users moving on to cigarettes.

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) education officer N.V. Subbarow said exposure to smoking starts at pre-school with ciga­rette-shaped candy.

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Changing mindset to catch crooks and bullies.

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

GIVING our children an avenue to anonymously report wrongdoing at school is a good thing, right? As it is, most adults are reluctant to speak out against the offences and misconduct that they see. They fear that this will lead to inconvenience, alienation or worse, reprisals.

Imagine how much harder it is for kids to tell teachers or school heads about other students being bullies or playing truant.

This is why it is a good idea that all schools must now provide a complaint box for tip-offs on student misconduct and criminal activity. And yet, some parents and teachers appear to be unenthusiastic about this move.

The naysayers anticipate, for example, that the schools and teachers will spend a lot of time and effort sifting through and investigating the complaints. Tied to this is the worry that some students will abuse this channel to throw in false accusations.

There are also questions about the procedures for handling the information that comes through the complaint boxes. The chief concern is that somehow confidentiality may be compromised, thus possibly leaving complainants exposed to backlash.

However, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid made it clear on Monday that students should not fear volunteering information on schoolmates involved in any form of misconduct. The information would be kept confidential, he added, and the tip-offs would be vetted by teachers in charge of discipline and, if necessary, forwarded to the police.

There is another element of doubt about the complaint boxes, and this is a rather curious one. Some parents apparently do not fancy the idea of their children playing a part in curbing bad behaviour. The attitude here is that the kids attend school to learn and not to bother about the disciplinary problems of others.

Hopefully, very few people think this way. This mindset deters whistleblowing and ultimately helps crooked people to avoid being caught.

Many kids grow up knowing that those who complain to the adults about other children’s actions are labelled snitches, rats and tattletales who deserve to be shunned. Peer pressure is a powerful force, perhaps more so among the young ones.

When people are against schools having complaint boxes, they are reinforcing the notion that we should all mind our business and not say anything if we witness wrongdoing.

The Star Says.
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Schools To Have Complaints Box To Check Student Misconduct

Monday, February 6th, 2017

News Pic

KUALA NERANG, Feb 5 (Bernama) — Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid has instructed all schools in the country to provide a complaints box for students to volunteer information confidentially to help check student misconduct, especially involvement in crime.

The information provided by the students would be scrutinised by teachers in charge of discipline and, if necessary, forwarded to the police, he said.

“The information from the students will be kept confidential. Students need not fear volunteering information about fellow students involved in any form of misconduct.

“This comes under the supervision of the discipline teachers and the information will be conveyed to the school liaison officers,” he said to reporters after launching the 2017 national-level ‘Jom ke Sekolah’ (Let’s Go to School) programme at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dato’ Syed Ahmad here.

Also present at the event were Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Kedah Police chief Datuk Asri Yusoff and Kedah Education director Datuk Azuyah Hassan.

Mahdzir said the main objective of the programme was to overcome absenteeism among students due to their being forced to work or getting involved in crime.

“Absenteeism in some schools has caused the percentage of attendance to drop,” he said.

He said that on the average the national student attendance in 2016 was 94.1 per cent for primary schools and 91.4 per cent for secondary schools.

“The overall national average has been set at 92.3 per cent, and the focus of the ministry and police is to improve this figure,” he said.


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14,072 cases of school bullying recorded over four-year period

Thursday, October 20th, 2016
Filepic of school bullying

Filepic of school bullying

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 14,072 cases of bullying in schools were recorded over a four-year period, said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

He said although the number of bullying cases in schools have gone down, the ministry is still concern over such incidents.

“We are aware that bullying cases are happening in schools.

“However, with close cooperation between schools, parents and authorities, the number of cases have reduced from 0.08% in 2013 to 0.06% last year,” he said when replying a question by Datuk Dr Abd Latiff Ahmad (BN-Mersing) during Minister’s Question Time in Dewan Rakyat Thursday.

Mahdzir said the number of cases involving physical bullying in schools had dropped from 4,159 cases in 2012 to 4,120 in 2013.

The number of cases dropped further to 2,825 cases in 2014 but rose slightly in 2015 to 2,968 cases.

Asked by Nasaruddin Hassan (PAS-Temerloh) if any cases were brought to court, Mahdzir said he would provide a written reply to the question.

Earlier, Mahdzir said that several steps were taken since 2009 to address bullying and gangsterism among students.

He also said that all schools have been directed to set up a Disciplinary Committee to deal with bullying cases.

He added that schools were told to set up a committee to foster closer relations between teachers and parents.

“The responsibility of addressing bullying cases in schools does not rest solely on the schools but also a shared responsibility of parents,” he said.


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Proposed Suspension For Bullies In School Should Not Deny Children’s Right For Education – Expert

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 (Bernama) — The Education Ministry should ascertain the proposed one-year suspension on school students who are involved in bullying cases, if it is implemented, does not deny their right to receive education.

An expert in family law, women and children from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Prof Datuk Noor Aziah Mohd Awal said there was also a need to ascertain that the proposed move was not in conflict with the existing criminal justice system for child offenders.

“Regardless of what happened or offences committed, the rights of children, i.e. those below the age of 18, to receive education cannot be denied.

“If the school decides the matter (bully case) first before it is taken to the court, or if the school wants to handle the case by suspending the student involved, it means the school has denied the child the right to study,” she said when contacted by Bernama.

Last week, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid had suggested a one-year suspension on school students who are involved in bullying cases and said that the ministry would get feedback from the public on the plan.

Noor Aziah said the establishment of schools in prisons or Integrity School and the Henry School for young offenders or juveniles clearly proved that children should continue with their schooling, regardless of the offence they committed.

The children, she said, should be given guidance, instead of being punished.

“There have to be a reason that cause a child to be a bully, and we, as members of the society and parents, should be responsible for our children, if they bully others,” she added.

Meanwhile, director of the Institute of Crime and Criminology at Help University, Datuk Akhbar Satar opined that suspending students involved in bullying cases from school could result in them to be involved in more serious offences, like theft, drug abuse and others.

“Of course, it will be stated that the children will be involved in charity work or be sent for rehabilitation during the suspension period, but can we control them for a year,” he added.

He suggested that students involved in bullying cases to be sent for counselling.

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) president Kamarozaman Abd Razak said the proposed one-year suspension should be reviewed as the duration was too long and could create various other implications.


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Proposed One-year Suspension For School Bullies Too Long – Lee Lam Thye

Monday, October 17th, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 (Bernama) — Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye suggested the suspension period proposed on primary and secondary school students who are involved in bullying cases to be shortened to about three months.

He said the proposed one-year suspension was too long and could lead to other problems.

“During that (one-year suspension) period, what will happen to the students, who will be responsible for them.

“I think this will create problems for parents, as well as to other quarters, including the authorities,” he told Bernama.

Lee was commenting a suggestion by Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid yesterday to enforce suspension on students involved in bullying cases.

According to Lee, the issue of bullying involving students is not new and he expressed doubts that the proposed suspension from school for students involved would be an effective solution.

“If we want to tackle or address the issue, suspension from school is not a solution. I think it is more important that we enhance the level of discipline in schools,” he added.

He said there was a need to identify students with tendency to be bullies and then sent them for special counselling.


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Education Ministry And Police To Discuss Presence Of PPS In Schools

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

PUTRAJAYA, June 20 (Bernama) — The Education Ministry and the Royal Malaysian Police will conduct a workshop to ensure police presence at schools in order to secure a safe environment for students and to control crime.

Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon said the workshop will also discuss ways to review the role of school liaison officers (PPS) to help deal with disciplinary problems in school.

“We will see if we can have a memorandum of understanding after the workshop,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the Education Ministry’s Consensus Council and the Police to strengthen the role of PPS, at the ministry here today.

Chong said the appointment of the PPS was a cooperation that existed between the Ministry of Education and the police in which each primary and secondary school will have a police officer to monitor the surrounding.

He said the Ministry of Education wants more PPS to give students a message that not only disciplinary teachers will control them but also the police.

Chong said that although the PPS system already existed, there was no guideline to address drug problems in schools.

Besides drug problems, today’s meeting also discussed the issue of bullying in which a standard operating procedure was required especially when bullying takes place outside the school, he said.

“Schools need to know the students who engaged in criminal cases outside the school so that intervention, particularly in terms of counselling can be carried out by the school,” he said, stressing the importance of intervention so that students are not expelled from school and eventually become a problem to the society.


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