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School CP - July 2004

Corpun file 13703

Sunday Star, Kuala Lumpur, 11 July 2004

Carrots and cane at mission schools

I REFER to your article titled "Mission to preserve legacy" (StarEducation, July 4) that highlighted the fast-disappearing character of mission schools. Two other aspects that are also going the way of the dodo but were not touched upon in that article are their iron-clad discipline and promotion of sports.

Sports was an integral part of the school culture from the latter part of the colonial period to the early 1960s. Students who excelled in sports were admired and respected.

I can still remember the cheers of the boys at St Michael's Institution, Ipoh, every time a half-day holiday was announced because of some victory in sports.

Such announcements were made either during the weekly school assembly or via the public address system installed in every class. The whole school used to turn up to support the school team when there were matches.

Students selected to represent their schools in sports had their names announced during assembly. They would stand tall and proud when teachers and classmates rushed up to congratulate them.

But life was not all carrots and rewards. The stick was also employed when players failed to turn up for game practices.

Once, two players who failed to turn up for an inter-school fixture were immediately expelled after receiving six of the best before an assembly. They were reinstated after an appeal by their anxious parents. It could have been a tactic by the Brother Director to instil in the boys the concept that loyalty to the school must be upheld.

At St Michael's, there was a balance between play and work. Both physical and mental sanctions were imposed to ensure academic pursuits and sports were taken seriously. Those who failed in their yearly examinations suffered not only the ignominy of being caned in front of the class but also the embarrassment of having full transcripts of their yearly examination results displayed publicly.

To add to their humiliation, failures were highlighted in red. These transcripts were exhibited in the foyer, next to the school hall, for the whole year, to be replaced only by the following year's results.

Open days and sports days were particularly traumatic to those who did not fare well in their studies. Visiting students would make a beeline to the exhibition gallery and gleefully note the results of people they knew.

The message was clear - study hard to avoid public disgrace! Such an exhibition was terminated at the end of the 1950s when St Michael's and other missionary schools became part of the national educational system.

Kuala Lumpur

© 1995-2002 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

Corpun file 13714

New Sabah Times, Kota Kinabalu, 12 July 2004

Boy caned because of unfinished homework

By Mohd Khairy Abdullah

Results of whipping

ROTAN SCARS -- Jahisin points to the red welts on his sonís back and left calf after he was purportedly whipped by a teacher.

Marks after inept caning

KENINGAU: Mohd Rafie Jahisin, 15, never expected he would be whipped for failing to complete his homework when he went to school at SM Saint Francis Xavier early last week.

Rafie was allegedly caned with a rotan by his Bahasa Malaysia teacher on the back and calf and is now still suffering from bruises as a result of the punishment.

The Form Three student claimed that he was away in Kota Kinabalu representing the school to perform at a dance competition and therefore did not have time to finish the school assignment.

Having been actively involved in dancing since his primary school days, Rafie has represented his school several times even up to the state level.

This is the second such case of a teacher accused of unnecessary violence against a student in this district within two weeks.

Earlier, a Form Two student of SMK Sook, Alizul Petrus, was allegedly hit by a teacher for dozing in class.

The parents of both students have lodged police reports against the teachers concerned.

Meanwhile, Rafieís father, Jahisin Rijan, 49, said he was deeply disappointed and upset by the teacherís choice of action.

Jahisin, a policeman, went on to say that the teacher had failed to abide by the guidelines set by the Education Ministry in dealing with disciplinary cases.

"There is a way to cane someone," he said adding it should only be done on certain parts of the body and not at random.

The angry father has strongly urged the education authorities to take stern action against the teacher.

"My son does not have a violent nature and therefore should not be punished using violence," he added.

According to him, if such situations are allowed to persist, parents and students will no longer trust the teaching profession.

Jahisin said he decided to highlight the case in the media so that other teachers will not do resort to the same kind of punishment.

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