Caning can Still be Carried Out.
Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Wee Ka Siong said that caning can still be carried out in schools; as provided for by the Education (School Discipline) Regulations 1959.
However, he added that caning must be carried out in a confined area; the parents of the student had been informed, and, caning must only be for a repeated mistake or very serious offence.
He also said that, ” We don’t encourage caning for primary students, but caning is allowed at the secondary level by the principal or a person to whom he delegates the power to”. On whether girls could also be caned, he said, “so far girls are not allowed to be caned”.
Director-general of Education, Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd. Dom said a teacher should not touch the students except for caning in private where the power has been delegated to him. “Even if it’s using a ruler to hit the student’s palm, this could lead to injury”. “So even though the intentions may be good, this could bring about undesirable results”. he said. He also added that teachers could also discipline the students by asking them to write lines, clean the classroom or pick the rubbish from the school compound.
In 2006, the Education Ministry banned public caning in schools after the Education Regulations (Student Discipline) 2006 came into force.
According to Datuk Wee, “We are a ministry, not a prison. Enforcement alone will not solve a problem”. ” You must remember that education covers everything, including counseling”.
It was reported in March that the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry was working on improvements to the child Act 2001, which included abolishing caning and incorporating community service.
Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said the Ministry recommends the use of positive methods to discipline children (as opposed to caning); which she said would have positive effects on children development and encourage good behaviour. “We cannot expect children to correct their behaviour over-night. We should focus on methods of discipline like counseling and community service which can instill new values and skills”.
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