Archive for the ‘Behaviour / discipline management’ Category

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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Parents urged to play role in curbing gangsterism

Thursday, August 17th, 2017
Parents were urged to play more proactive role in curbing gangsterism among school students. NST file pic

IPOH: Parents were urged to play more proactive role in curbing gangsterism among school students.

Perak Crime Prevention and Community Policing department officer DSP Ng Bo Huat (community policing) said there is a need for parents to monitor and educate their children and not allow them to be bullied by their peers.

“If there are information on bullies in school, please call our hotline 05-240 1999 or Malaysia Emergency Response Service (MERS) 999. Parents could also bring this issue up in Parent-Teacher Associations where our school relations officers will attend the meeting as well. Give this info to discipline teachers too.

“Hotspot schools will be our focus. We will compare the list given by the Education Ministry to the list prepared by the school relations officers,” he said.

He said to increase public awareness on gangsterism, roadshows was also being held state-wide until September 11.

“There will also be talks held for discipline teachers and school relation officers (police) on how to tackle bullying in Perak. We are stepping efforts to empower crime prevention bully and gangsterism,” he said today.

Meanwhile, state exco in charge of education, science, environment and green technology Datuk Muhammad Amin Zakaria said more joint-activities and programme would be organised to curb disciplinary problems including school bullies.

In Perak,t0 schools are labelled as hotspots, with seven of them were identified with having both discipline and drugs problems, and the others listed for disciplinary issues.

The 402 schools listed as hotspots nationwide were identified through input from the Students’ Discipline System (Sistem Sahsiah Diri Murid or SSDM)

By Nuradzimmah Daim.

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How should we deal with bullies?

Friday, August 11th, 2017

A boy (left) showing how his brother was allegedly bullied in school in Pasir Mas, Kelantan, in 2015. FILE PIC

BULLYING is like cancer. It spreads without mercy and the end result is never pretty.

Most of us have had our share of dealings with bullies. It has taught me a valuable lesson, that bullying is a cry for help.

It is much more than just having a bad attitude. It ranges from unmet expectations to covering up one’s own shortcomings. Most of the time, bullies lash out to show that they are not weak or to establish a place among their peers.

Each time a video showing bullies beating up their victims goes viral, it provokes public outcry on the Internet, and, as expected, all eyes turn to Putrajaya wanting to know what the government will do about it.

We journalists are instructed by our bosses to get feedback from various quarters, each time this happens. The usual suspects include the Education Ministry, which would be asked how it would be handling the issue at the school level, and mental health experts would be asked to explain what causes bullying.

While waiting for an event to start recently in the administrative capital, I overheard several people exchanging views on the matter and how bullies should be treated. They suggested the application of scare tactics, including exposing bullies to prison life for a few days or sending them to the morgue to view the body of a bully victim.

A few were heard saying the bullies should be shipped to war-torn countries where their aggression could be put to good use to save lives.

Some felt hundreds hours of community service should be considered, including getting them involved in feeding vagrants and taking care of the sick and physically-challenged.

All of them agreed that nagging bullies would be pointless. Action spoke louder than words, they said. Unfortunately, there is no one remedy for bullying.

A global movement for good,, has shared several disturbing facts about bullying, including that more than 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year; 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying and one in 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying.

Based on these facts alone, it is understandable why Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had wanted the National Social Council to include bullying on its agenda.

Even participants at a recent Breakfast Talk held in conjunction with the #MerdekaQuranHour and #WorldQuranHour last Monday brought up the issue of bullying. They wanted to know how Islam through the Quran could address the problem.

In our fast-changing world, youngsters also have to deal with another form of bullying in the virtual world. Some children can become suicidal because of cyberbullying. We have all read news reports about children opting to end the pain of being bullied by taking a fatal leap from tall buildings or cutting their wrists or swallowing sleeping pills.

CyberSecurity Malaysia has put together statistics on cyber harassment cases, including cyberbullying. It recorded 300 cyber harassment cases in 2012, 512 in 2013, 550 in 2014, 442 in 2015 and 529 last year. There were 250 reported cases of cyberbullying among students in 2012, 389 in 2013, 291 in 2014, 256 in 2015 and 338 last year.


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DG: Action against schools if they hide cases of misconduct

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Khir being greeted by the pupils of Sekolah Kebangsaan Haji Bujang Rangawan Putin in Sadong Jaya yesterday. — Bernama photo

SADONG JAYA: The Education Ministry will take stern action against school management found to have concealed any misconduct, including bullying in schools, said its director- general Tan Sri Dr Khir Mohamad Yusof.

He said principals and headmasters must report immediately to the authorities any forms of misconduct, including student bullying cases in their respective schools.

“The act of reporting such cases will not affect the school but it is necessary to allow appropriate action to be taken against the parties concerned,” he said.

Khir told reporters this when asked on action being taken by the ministry on a group of female students involved in the bullying of a female student in a secondary school in Kunak, Sabah recently.

“Disciplinary action in accordance to the prescribed procedure will be taken on the school management if they fail to report any such cases in their schools to the authorities,” he said.

Khir said in view of the case that happened in a secondary school in Sabah was now a police case, the ministry was leaving it to the police to conduct investigation. On the part of the ministry, he said, if investigation revealed it was a bullying case, then action would be taken based on the existing standard operating procedures (SOP) while the students involved in the bullying case would be sent to the Henry Gurney school, among others.


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