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The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 2 April 2000

Aziz: We'll not bring back public caning


By Nick Leong KOTA BARU: The Education Ministry will not resort to bringing back the cane to counter the proliferation of gangsterism in schools. Deputy Education Minister Datuk Aziz Shamsuddin said public caning as a way of disciplining wayward students was considered "outdated" although it had its merits. Asked if the Education Ministry would re-introduce public caning like in the 1950s and 1960s, Aziz said: "We cannot compare the situation now with the 1950s and 1960s because the circumstances are different. "Students are more easily exposed to influences like from the multi-media," he said after witnessing a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony at the Kada Resort near here yesterday. Aziz said another objection towards public caning was the attitude of today's parents. "If we were to implement public canning, the parents will be the first to make protests. "But if the situation worsens and goes out of control, it will be the parents who suffer," he said. Aziz said he believed the powers vested in the hands of headmasters and principals in dealing with gangsters in schools were sufficient. Aziz also said society should not depend solely on the police to fight gangsterism. "I appeal to all parents and teachers and society at large to help the authorities," he said.
Copyright 1995-2000. Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd. All rights reserved.

New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 16 April 2000

Opinion

Disciplinary problems in schools are not new


By A. Kadir Jasin

(extracts)
Each time a new person is put at the helm of the Education Ministry, the problem of indiscipline in schools ranging from truancy to vandalism, theft and smoking makes headlines. I am not saying that it is wrong to stir up media interest and grab the headlines. Headlines are important. They can be a useful wake-up call. But headlines alone will not take us anywhere unless serious actions are taken. Indiscipline in schools, including gangsterism which made headlines in the last few days, is not a new thing. What is new is the nature of the problem and how it is best handled. I don't think what is happening in schools today is gangsterism in the true sense. Properly tackled, it may turn out to be a passing phase where groups of boys and girls get together to do things they watch on television. Of course, some criminal elements like extortion, fist-fights and thefts may have taken place. But sending in the marines to blow the teenagers to smithereens is not the answer. Neither is making the teachers policemen (or policewomen as the case may be) as some had suggested. Teachers have enough power and authority to handle such a problem. It is not an acceptable idea to turn our country into a police state each time there is a sign of trouble. The answer lies in the parents and teachers being more responsible. I had come across parents who told their children of the evils of smoking when they themselves were hidden behind the thick smoke of their own cigarettes, and of parents who warned their children of the dangers of intoxication as they themselves slurred away under the influence of alcoholic drinks. And there is to me nothing more sickening than parents who tell their children to work hard and be industrious when they themselves spend endless hours watching senseless TV dramas and game shows. Too many parents leave their children's education and upbringing to the teachers. Sadly teachers generally are overloaded with work, and some are not exemplary parents. If they are not good

parents to their own children, how can they become parents to a class of 50 impressionable children? Unfortunately, more people are good at breeding than parenting. It may serve the teaching profession well to equip teachers with knowledge of psychology and parenting skills. THIS brings me back to St Michael's School in the 1960s when the Roman Catholic sense of discipline and responsibility did a lot of good to even the most indisciplined students. Those were the days when Brother Supervisor was the terror and public caning was not the worst kind of punishment. For really serious disciplinary problems, you could be expelled or even be sent to the dreaded Henry Gurney School in Malacca. The school was often referred to as sekolah budak jahat (school for bad boys). Those who were sent there were destined to become outcasts. Brother Supervisor, who sat above the headmaster, was authorised by the church to administer discipline and set educational standards. I was once caned by Brother Supervisor for failing mathematics three times in a row. It was out of mercy that I stopped suffering monthly caning for failing the subject. In return I was made to clean the students' toilets and water the dusty assembly ground for two weeks. It was then that I learnt not to tolerate dirty toilets and tuftless fields. ONE of the most dignified and memorable public caning ever to be carried out during the years I was at St Michael's involved one Mohamad Abu Bakar and the headmaster, Charles Alexander Westwood. Mohamad was one of those agitated and belligerent students. He loved wars and valour, and went by the pseudonym General Ramon Torres. Those were the days when generals ruled half of the world's nations. It happened when we were in Form Five and several Regional Training Centre trainee teachers were sent to our school to do their practical. One of them was Ku Faridah who was not a year older than us. We were young and love was easy. Several boys immediately fell head over heels in love with her -- or so they thought. They offered to carry her teaching materials, books and bag. They bought her drinks and wrote poems in praise of her. One of them was Mohamad and the other was Ahmad Rashid, the head prefect. One day, when Mohamad was away, Ahmad and several others took photographs with Cikgu Ku Faridah. Mohamad got to know about it, blew his top and punched Ahmad in the face. He was tried, found guilty and sentenced to public caning at the school's weekly assembly.

Mohamad's relationship with Westwood was more than that of a student and teacher. They were friends. Westwood had learnt to accept Mohamad's pranks and indiscipline. Before carrying out the punishment, Westwood whispered to Mohamad that he had to carry out his duty. Mohamad responded, saying: "Carry on, sir." After the punishment was carried out, Mohamad shook Westwood's hand and thanked him. Westwood died of old age several year ago, Mohamad retired from the commando unit as a captain and Ahmad went on to become a lieutenant-colonel and received the armed forces' highest award -- the Panglima Gagah Berani -- for valour. He died several years ago in a road crash while commanding a commando battalion in Kuala Kubu Baru. Those days parents did not attack or sue teachers for disciplining their children. And teachers willingly played the role of parents and guardians.

Monday, 3 September 2007


Public Caning In Schools
I saw on tv a moment ago about how a government backbencher questioned the Deputy Minister of Education about the possibility of bringing back Public Caning in schools and the 'learned' Deputy Minister answered about having to consider various acts and conventions pertaining to minors. So clever, but wait a minute. Reports about gangsterism, hooliganism and vandalism and utter shameful behaviour of our students have been hotly debated for many-many years now. Much have been said and many so-called studies have been made so don't tell me, it had not crossed the minds of anyone in the ministry to look into the acts and conventions mentioned by the Deputy Minister? Why still give stupid answers like we have to seriously consider this and that to a question that is not new. If it is a new phenomenon I could buy it but this damn thing have been debated for far too long. Please me Deputy Minister, tell us something new. Now back to the question asked by the MP. Should Public Caning be brought back to Malaysian schools? I was surprised, no, not disappointed, just surprised, by NUTP's reaction to this suggestion. They don't seem to be in favour of this call. Come to thing of it, I could understand them because this would invite hostile reactions from many parents who incidentally couldn't make out an angel from a devil. Speaking as a teacher who has gone through the public caning days and comparing it to what we have now, I don't thing its a good thing to go back in time. Yes, public caning were a deterrent back then and that is because most parents could accept the fact that their children need disciplining. Things have changed much since then. Parents nowadays don't take too kindly to their children being punished in schools. Anyway, I am not against caning, but I have my reservations with public canings. If the MP had called for teachers to be given greater powers to cane students, I would agree. I know not many parents would agree with me, but then again they are not teachers. We don't use the cane just because we like to cane. Its not like we get up one morning and eagerly dress up to school just to go whack a few arses. Who wants to do that? We are not crazy people you know. We don't go beat up some karate referees for no reason you know. One weakness in the system that contributes to the worsening of the students discipline is the appointments of headmasters/headmistresses and principals. A person is appointed the head of a school based on seniority and contact and merit

plays no part in promotions whatsoever. A person may be senior but lacks the quality needed. A person with contacts is worse. He or she only knows how to suck up, not lead. Go to schools with poor discipline record and the glaring thing that one sees is the quality, or the lack of it ,of the head. Sweeping matters under the carpet is a very common thing because a head who admits to having a lot of problems is deemed to have admitted that he/she is unable to lead and thus would missed the next promotion boat. Schools are reluctant to suspend and sack hardcore cases. Besides, weak heads being a reason, the inability of officers in the JPN to comprehend school's predicaments is also a reason. We sack someone today and the brat gets admission into another school not so far away and 99 percent of them are back to their presacking ways in a month. Just pay a visit to any school and enquire how many students they presently have who were sacked from other schools and you would be surprised. To top this sometime these students got sent back to the school they were initially sacked from. Now that is not very helpful isn't it? Back to caning, I am all for a more liberal use of the cane by a panel of teachers, not just any teacher. Why, do you ask? You would be surprise at how effective it could be. Look, we have tried all we could to get the students to respect us but it just doesn't work and anyway we have other work to do you know like teaching? Its not easy to try to act all noble and teach at the same time. Which comes first then? Well, what is my last line here? Public caning 'NO' caning YES.

School caning
Corporal punishment is lawful in schools but only for boys, and is regulated by the Education Regulations (Student Discipline) 2006. However, there are many reported cases suggesting the caning of schoolgirls, on their palms, is a common practice especially in primary school. While serious disobedience such as stealing, smoking, gangsterism and bullying are some of the offences punishable by caning, minor transgressions such as incomplete homework have also been dealt with by physical punishment.

Guidelines on school caning


Female students are not allowed to be caned Only the headmaster can carry out the caning A teacher can only cane when the headmaster delegates this power to him in writing, and he must be a permanent teacher of the school The student can only be caned on the buttocks or the palm. It cannot be done on bare buttocks and the student cannot be asked to lower his pants. The caning is to be meted out in a confined area The student's parents will be informed and invited to witness the caning Caning must only be for a repeated mistake or very serious offence.

Public caning is banned in schools after the Education Regulations (Student Discipline) 2006 came into force. Malaysian governments do not encourage caning for primary school students, but caning is allowed at the secondary level by the principal or a person to whom he delegates the power to.

http://www.asiaone.com/News/Education/Story/A1Story20091012-173138.html

Students distressed by public canings just days before exams Some primary school students were left traumatised after two public canings were carried out at their school, just a few days before the exams. Parents of distraught kids wondered if the punishment was really necessary and appropriate, reported Wanbao. Within five days before the start of exams, two primary 5 boys were caned in front of the whole school. According to a parent, Mrs Liang, 40, her daughter who is a student at the school in Sembawang had told her about how the students were caned on stage. Both were made to placed their hands on a table as they were caned on their behinds by the discipline master. One student was caned on Oct 2, while the other was caned on Oct 6. "My daughter was very scared and cried when she told us about the incident. She said she didn't dare to go to school." said Mrs Liang, who used to teach as well. "She also described how some girls even cried during the caning." Mrs Liang said she was worried that the incident could have an effect on the students' emotional and mental state, and consequently affect their results. She felt the punishment meted out was too harsh and that the school authorities should have considered other measures such as counselling instead. The caning could also have been carried out in private, instead of publicly, said Mrs Liang. When contacted by Wanbao reporters on the issue, the principal stated that the school takes a very strong stance on maintaining good discipline and instilling students with the right values, but maintained that it also adheres strictly to the education ministry's guidelines. Corporal punishment is used only as a last resort, said the principal. The students who were caned had undergone counselling, and were told why the punishment was necessary. The principal told reporters that teachers would do their part in reiterating the school's position to students and also reassure them.

Guidelines on caning students

According to another primary school principal interviewed by Wanbao, the Ministry of Education has strict regulations on disciplinary measures that can be taken. For example, only boys are allowed to be caned and they cannot be caned more than six times. It must also not be done 'in the heat of the moment', and at least one other teacher must be present when the punishment is carried out. Parents will be notified after the caning and counselling provided if necessary, said the principal. He also stated that caning is usually only decided upon as a 'last resort'.

Public caning for schools?


A REPUBLIC OF VIRTUE Azly Rahman dr.azly.rahman@gmail.com http://azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com/ Times have changed. In the 1940s and 50s our grandparents send their kids to school with a cane/rotan. Child psychology was not in vogue yet. They did not know any other way. American democracy was not pervasive yet. TV was still in black and white. iPHONES, Blackberry, and iPODS were still in the imagination of kids yet to make it big like Bill Gates. The problem in schools is deeper than just behavioral. Boredom, apathy, and disengagement are merely symptoms of a larger problem. The problem lies in the entire spectrum of what we have been doing over the last 50 years, the crisis of educational leadership we have, a vision of society which does not match the politics in education we have deeply hammer into the schools we built. It lies in the philosophy, paradigm, pedagogy, process, and product. Most importantly it lies in the we view human nature as it related to economic development. We can begin to analyze this issue by looking at what we have produced: Mat and Minah Rempits. Our education system has become "rempitised". -------------------I once wrote the following piece on educational restructuring for our "Rempitised" education system. "The (North Pole Free Fall) expedition is among the latest controversial moves by Umno to engage youths, especially Mat Rempit, in a series of baffling activities. This includes a 50,000-strong carnival gathering which never took off, a road trip tainted by sex and booze allegations and a proposed programme to reward mat rempit for nabbing snatch thieves." - Malaysiakini newsreport March 10, 2007 Again and again we are sending a wrong message to the children of tomorrow concerning what good behavior for our youth should be. Wrong model. Why are we allowing Umno Putera to glorify Mat Rempits and reward them with something they do not deserve? Don't these youth leaders know what education means and how to educate these 'damaged' youth? We do not understand what being "fair but firm" means in educating troubled youth. Worse, we do not understand the root cause of why children fail in school but graduate to become Mat and Minah Rempits or "Alongs" and all kinds of human beings alienated by the system we built together. The 50,000 strong gathering, the name-change to Mat Cemerlang, the proposed drag race circuit, and now the North Pole jump what are these for in the name of 'education for good citizenship'? How many will 50,000 Mat Rempits multiply into in a decade? What will be the consequence for our nation already falling apart from corruption and mismanagement? We need more than just quick fix solution to the issue of 'juvenile delinquency' that is getting out of control. We need a "zerotolerance policy" on "rempitizing behaviors". Don't the ministry of education know what the taxpayers want for the education system? Why not spend money preparing good teachers to prepare good curriculum and teaching strategies to deal with the children of the Millennium generation? Why not spend money making sure that all schools meet the minimum standards of technology, resources, safety, and teacher competency? Why not beef up the "rempit division" of the police force? Why continue to arrogantly trumpet pseudo-humanistic approach to curing the disease of rempitism when there are better longlasting ways we can employ to make sure students do not become what they shouldn't be becoming?

The wrong model Mat Rempit wannabes will think that even if they do not do well in school and not be disruptive, they will still grow up protected by the system created by those who want to continue to preach the "welfare mentality". There will be youth political parties trying hard enough to negotiate with the "motorcycle gang" so that the latter can be of help in maintaining the hegemony of the ruling party. The compromising approach towards those who "terrorize" neighborhoods, law-abiding citizens, or even rob and maim others will give more and more power to many others to follow the footsteps of the motorcycled mob. "I'll make you an offer you can't refuse" said Don Vito Corleone of Mario Puzo's The Godfather fame would be the best way to describe the philosophy of how we reward these troubled youth. A wrong model of youth education will produce more youth who will see national development through wrong lens. Perhaps our minister of education need to spend one class period a month in different classroom settings, as an undercover substitute teacher, to understand the culture of the classroom and to make sense of why many things are failing. Perhaps top ranking officials of the ministry without classroom experience need to take turns doing this undercover job to see why we are not producing the graduates we want. Perhaps these officials can be given a class period to teach in the urban schools and where Mat and Minah Rempits reign schools in Puchong for example. Or they can sit in classroom in Arau Perlis where broken door, blackboard, windowpanes, ceilings and walls welcome new students daily. These are the real stuff of teaching ones that ministers do not see. Many are merely interested in 'officiating' smart schools and have photo sessions for example with Microsoft's Bill Gates in Dengkil schools that will produce no Mat and Minah Rempits. Many do not even want their children near National Service camps that has taken the lives of many of our precious youth to date! We now have a movement towards the three school system public, private, and international each catering to the degree of fear parents have towards their children's education. This is the lifeboat/sinking sampan mentality we have cultivated as a nation. But education is about hope and love.That's what the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire once said. It is about modeling best practice. Where do we begin then? The right model First, we need to stop sending the wrong message. We need to reward those who are doing well academically regardless of race, and help channel their creativity through the spectrum of their educational experience. We need to create classrooms with smaller sizes so that the needs of these children can be met according to their interest. The "small schools" movement that identify children's career interest at an early age can be a good model to work from schools modeled after the concept of "academies". Let experts from all sector of society -- the stakeholders in education -- help suggest good ideas on how to help our troubled youth. Next, get funding to create alternative schools for troubled youth, that would also include a course in 'motorcycle education'. We need to study the "ecology" of the child and the "anthropology of the modern Malaysian school" and classroom in order to ascertain why children become disillusioned in schools and declare their freedom and irresponsibility on the streets, past midnight.

We need to find out where their parents are and why they are no longer doing good parenting. We need to teach them that poverty is not a license to leave their children to be educated by the streets. In poverty too there is dignity and an inspiration to raise grateful children who will not be a menace to society. We need to study the socio-economic make-up of the youth at risk and ascertain the nature of psychological emotional, and even spiritual derangement that is plaguing our youth. We need to hold parents accountable for their children's behavior, not just leave already stressed and poorly-paid teachers to become "correctional officers", while trying to create success for all. Parents must be given trainings in what matters for their children in school and how to monitor behaviors. Schooling should be a peaceful partnership between the child, parents, teachers, and the society we wish to create. It is not about stealing the minds of children of tomorrow or the benefit of politics of the here and now. We need to study the ecology of the media and the nature of fast changing economy to see the impact of it on the youth of today. What are the youth watching on TV? Who produces junk programs that produces the "GIGO" (garbage-in-garbage-out) mind? How does the media exploit the insecurities of our youth? Certainly a lot to study and act upon. But first and foremost, we must study ourselves as a nationwhere are we going? Andwe need to stop political parties from further nurturing 'rempitism'. There are better waysby being fair yet firm. Let us pray that those with "rempitised" minds do not become our political leaders or education ministers. Education, as the philosopher John Dewey would say, is the only way for social and intellectual progress. Teach children, as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, according to the times they are in. Good luck with our journey. We hope for the experts in our ministry to guide us through.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


More disciplinary issues
Following on our posts on the student slapping incident here and here, the Star reported two incidents - that a student slapping headmaster in KK had been suspended for 2 months (with full pay) for slapping some 20 students for not handing in their civics homework and that a warden in a school in Sibu forced some students to stand in a fish pond for 30 minutes for clogging up the toilets with their sanitary pads. I found this old report in the Straits Times Singapore on corporal punishment and I thought that it brings up some good points. Straits Times, Singapore, 6 October 2003 Abdullah supports using cane in school But the DPM also cautions against abuse should the Education Ministry expand caning powers to control unruly students By Reme Ahmad in Kuala Lumpur SPARE the rod and spoil the child? Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would seem to agree. He has concurred with an Education Ministry's proposal to expand the power of caning students to all teachers, instead of just the disciplinary masters and principals. This followed shocking cases of fighting among students, and reports quoting a ministry official saying that 76,300 students had disciplinary problems, including gangsterism, last year. But Datuk Seri Abdullah said care must be taken to avoid abuse, and he suggested more discussions between parents and schools before implementing the move in the classroom or during school assemblies. 'I personally would not stop the ministry from implementing caning in schools as long as it is not excessive,' he said. 'We know that children normally fear caning, either in school or at home. 'I agree with caning but there is concern that if all teachers are given the power,

there will be excessive caning,' he said in Ipoh on Saturday, in response to questions from reporters. Yesterday, Datuk Seri Abdullah added that he wants teachers to be trained as counsellors to help troubled students. The ministry had in 1997 ruled that only principals and discipline masters could use the rod. But its director-general, Datuk Abdul Rafie Mahat, said recently that all teachers should be allowed to discipline those in their classes. It proposed giving canes to all teachers, amid reports of ill discipline and fighting among groups of students. A student nearly lost his wrist just two weeks ago after being slashed in a fight between two groups of 22 students in Perak. This was just days after 12 students ganged up to beat a schoolmate at a matriculation hostel in Malacca. These two incidents were widely reported in the media and raised alarm bells among educators, parents and government officials. Malaysian officials, however, were quick to point out that the 76,300 problematic students were less than 1.2 per cent of the total student population of seven million nationwide. Many felt the cane should be used sparingly. National Unity and Community Development Minister Siti Zaharah Sulaiman said yesterday that children should be caned only in serious cases. Punishment is a last resort, added a columnist in Mingguan Malaysia newspaper. Perak's education director, Datuk Adnan Ibrahim, said teachers would use the cane sparingly because they 'fear parents making police reports and the issue being brought to courts and causing problems'. If this report is still relevant, then public caning in schools is still allowed. What is unclear is what the guidelines are in regards to carrying out this type of corporal punishment. I've said this before and I'll say it again here. I think there is a place for public caning in our schools but it should be carried out in a way which follows procedure strictly e.g. there should be strict guidelines in regards to the types of offenses that qualify for public caning such as the destruction of school property, public fighting, gross disrespect shown towards teachers or headmasters and so on. I think that

slapping students have no place in a classroom since it can be meted out in a way which can be irrational and prone to sudden impulses. In regards to the other minor offenses such as failure to hand in homework, it's much harder to 'legislate' for such punishment and I think we should leave it up to the wisdom of the teachers and headmasters of the individual schools. Posted by Kian Ming at 7/24/2007 10:09:00 AM Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Google Buzz Labels: Corporal Punishment

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Kian Ming, Good article, just quickly, when did Badawi become the deputy PM? Has Khairy really taken over the prime ministership of the country? Or is there something insidious we don't know about? Cheers, Jordan.
7/24/2007 11:28:00 AM

Anonymous said...

the straits times article is dated year 2003 jordan, abdullah was still mahathir's deputy then.
7/24/2007 02:04:00 PM

Bitbot said...

The government needs to add a "punishment 101" subject to the teachers' course which will teach teachers about executing rational and effective punishments. For the sanitary pad case in Sibu, the teacher SHOULD get the students to CLEAN the toilets instead of asking them to squat in the fish pond. This would be a more effective punishment. I also don't understand why she had to get SCHOOL PREFECTS to clear the

clogged toilets o_O. School prefects are supposed to ensure the student community obey school rules, not clean toilets.
7/24/2007 05:12:00 PM

Anonymous said...

Teachers cane students because they know students fear caning (a type of physical punishment) in school. These students grow up. They beat other schoolmates because they know schoolmates fear to be beaten (another type of physical punishment). what a vicious cycle taught by our education program.
7/25/2007 04:19:00 AM

Anonymous said...

I am appalled you suggested public caning for gross disrespect to teachers and principals. That is like giving license to teachers for caning the students for the smallest excuse. Imagine a student too busy playing and laughing with his friends and forget to greet a teacher walking by and the next thing he knows is a wack by a cane out of nowhere, and you would think he deserves that. I know yougsters are getting disrespectful nowadays but I blame the parents for that. I was visiting Nanyang Technological University as a visiting faculy some time ago. One day, when I was walking along a covered walkway, I met a group of students coming in the opposite direction and they did not even budge a bit to give way, forcing me out of the walkway onto the grass. Could have fallen into a drain if I wasn't careful. U.S. students have more decency than that even when we are of different colors. It is one small incident but it tells me that even in Singapore, a country that has National Service and supposedly good discipline with Confusian ideals, and what not, and yet their university students not having common respect for an older person. Just go to show that respect is a virtue taught at home and not instilled by a cane. Otherwise, they forget about it when the cane is gone, just like the supposedly bright and educated NTU students.
7/25/2007 01:36:00 PM

Anonymous said...

Canning is just plain dumb. An easy way out for a failed educator, whether it is the educator in the family or in the schools.

My 2 kids are studying in high school overseas now. Over there, no teacher can impose any physical punishment on any student. It becomes an offence for which the teacher would be punishable as an ordinary criminal for battery. So, are their student's lawless or running wild? Hardly! You still have the regular recalcitrants there, but the main body of primary and high school students are very well behaved and well mannered. They are instilled and manifest values such as thrift, kindness, helping the weak, fair play, etc, etc, at a level never seen in Malaysia since my own high school days 35 years ago. How could it all have happened over there? Because they all grew up with friends in the 20 - 60 age-group. Over there, those "friends" are called "teachers". The kids over there grew up with loads of self-esteem and confidence. Even among those not good in their studies, they are never made to feel second-rate. A human being is valued as a human being; so it does not make sense to their society that one human being could have the right to physically abuse another. Yet when my son was in primary school here and topped his year every year, he still gets caned by teachers for reasons which until today he still could not comprehend. He is such a model student that one parent was moved to say that if he deserved canning, the entire school would have to be caned. Sometimes he gets chalk thrown at him by the teacher when he was quietly reading a book and some boys around him were chatting. On one occasion, he asked a teacher why the teacher threw the chalk at him, and the reply? "If you dont like, can throw it back to me"!! Even my then 9 - 10 yr old kid related the incident to us with utter disbelief. On another ocassion, a teacher lined up about 20 students, including my son, and whack them with a ruler because "some" of them were "noisy". Please hazard a guess if my son has any residual respect for the school system here. In fact, he has always told his mother that he learn and enjoy more sitting and reading in Popular Bookshop or MPH than going to school, and we are talking about a "premier" school in KL. Are we are so deprived of our own self-esteem that we in turn think that others can only be made to understand things through the medium of the cane? I never agree that our school system is collapsing. I think it has collapsed already. When an education minister himself, being at the very apex of the leadership in an education system, waves the kris in Parliament and expressed pride over that act, hope dont stand a chance.
7/25/2007 08:22:00 PM

Anonymous said...

My daughter and her classmates in our school system in the U.S. too have never been punished physically by the principal or teachers because corporal punishment has been abolished in our city school system. (U.S. schools are governed independently by local school systems). Yet, you don't see students running havoc in the classrooms. Those that committed serious offenses would be suspended and in extreme situations, expelled. For the lesser offenses, they can be punished by detention after schools. I agree that the parents are the people responsible. You may have heard in the news where a mother intentionally drove her son to a location to beat up another boy; and another mother also drove her daughter (who was already suspended from school) to fight with another girl. Luckily that never happened In our school system. There was an incident when a father heard some rumors about his daughter and went to school to beat up his daughter with his belt. Guess what happened to the father? He was charged in court but the daughter just asked for a misdemeanor charge so that her father could escape the jail sentence because she just wanted her father to realize that what he did was inappropriate. So, you see that some parents are worst than the kids. Another thing is that the school should have a reward system to encourage good behavior. For instance, in my daughter's school, the whole school will be rewarded with extra recess time or prize draws, treats, etc., if there is no discplinary problems for certain number of days. That way, there is peer pressure against bad behavior and makes the students proud of their achievement for being orderly.
7/25/2007 10:34:00 PM

Hamzah said...

Again I say, send the teachers to study in Singapore's National Institute of Education (At least I bothered to google the name), NIE. Since they have among the best education system in the world (check the glbal newspapers for saying this, not me who says it), they must produce great teachers too. Let us not let "face" and ego get into the way of developing our country. We are behind Singapore, just just admit it, learn from them, then be on par and use their experience (and talents if we can poach) to leapfrog ahead. One day we will be ahead. Sticking to our ego of "Malaysia is better than Singapore", will only have us playing football in the muddy kampong field even 20 years later.
7/26/2007 04:09:00 PM

Anonymous said...

this is just to comment on what Hamzah said.. singapore's teachers are better because they are only teaching..their main and core business is only teaching..unlike teachers in Malaysia, they have to do everything from the smallest tiniest matters like registration, collecting students' fees, calculating the fees, even counting students' fees, chasing the students who have not paid their fees, entertaining and cater programmes introduced by the government like SMS Sekolah which is not beneficial enough, counting students' reading materials or called as NILAM and more.. how can the teachers be a professional when they dont really have a specific job description which I can see now has been hanky panky..frankly speaking, I pity the teachers as I'm a neighbour to few. They do not complain but I can see it from their eyes that ther r suffering from the chaotic stacking up jobs that they have to deal with.
8/26/2008 11:18:00 AM