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MALAYSIA

School CP - August 2003



Corpun file 11840

masthead
New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 26 August 2003

Letters

Check violence among pupils, teachers

Aug 26: THE alarming increase in violence in schools and institutes of higher learning by students and teachers is a cause for concern.

Unless this is contained or eradicated, all quarters may live to regret that actions taken were either too slow or too lenient.

Hence all violent behaviour by pupils must be met with drastic action by the education authorities. Expel them from schools or sentence them to juvenile lock-ups with caning to show that violence in not condoned.

Weed out these bad hats and let others continue to seek knowledge in a peaceful environment.

There were also instances where teachers turned violent. National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Datuk Siva Subramaniam cited unhealthy work environment, frustration and stress as some of the reasons why some teachers vent their anger on pupils.

Can we allow teachers to use these reasons to be violent? If a teacher's violent behaviour is not checked, this can lead to abuse of power and authority. Guidelines in punishing pupils must be adhered to strictly and teachers should not resort to slapping. I support corporal punishment if implemented by principals, as caning is the best way to punish misbehaved pupils.

BERNARD SIOW
Malacca

Copyright 2002 NSTP e-Media Sdn. Bhd. All rights reserved.



Corpun file 11841

masthead
New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 26 August 2003

Let schools deal with delinquents the old way

VIOLENCE in schools is nothing new except that recent incidents occurred so close that it caught the attention of the media and the public. Since my time in the 1950s, there had been fights among pupils and the influence of gangsters as well as communists in schools. Let us not push the panic button when certain schools seem to hog the limelight for serious cases.

In the late 1950s and 60s, many Chinese schools were infiltrated by communist elements, resulting in pupils taking to the streets to demonstrate.

In addition, gangsters were recruiting members from schools and prefects were threatened and beaten up when they carried out their duties. Media coverage then was not that wide and such cases were seldom highlighted.

School principals had authoritarian powers and could dismiss delinquents. Hence, they solved most of these problems either by public caning or expelling such pupils and no one would take up the issue in the Press on behalf of those delinquents.

Today, it's a different story. Any serious breach of discipline will appear as headlines in the local Press. Local situations become national issues.

A chain reaction occurs and from the hallowed corridors of the Education Ministry to every coffee shop, people will discuss the issue. If the schools were left to deal with these cases as before and when action had been taken, the matter would have been settled without fuss.

V. CHEW
Ipoh

New Straits Times (M) Berhad



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