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School CP - February 1997

Corpun file 0629


The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 22 February 1997

Don't spare the rod, headmasters told

KANGAR: Mentri Besar [State Premier of Perlis] Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim urged teachers and headmasters yesterday not to hesitate to cane students with disciplinary problems.

He said it could instil fear in the students so that they would stay away from negative activities.

"We have come to a stage where harsh punishment needs to be taken to prevent students from falling prey to undesirable elements," he told reporters after presenting a cane to state Education Director Ahmad Marican Othman as a symbol to urge the department to cane problem students in Perlis.

However, he said only headmasters and authorised teachers should be allowed to cane the students.

He added that however all teachers need to monitor students' activities and take corrective action when need.

Although the situation in Perlis was under control, discipline among students was gradually deteriorating, he said.

The National Union of the Teaching Profession said disciplinary problems in some schools escalated due to incompetent school heads.

"Some headmasters only think of having charts and blueprints in their office and tend to forget that the basic function of a school is character-building," its secretary-general N. Siva Subramaniam said.

He added that the ministry should have a better system of selecting school heads to ensure that those appointed had good organisational skills and calibre.

Siva Subramaniam also questioned the ministry's delay in implementing the guidelines for enforcing discipline in schools which was proposed during a national seminar last August.


The Straits Times, Singapore, 26 February 1997

Bring back the cane, say Sarawak teachers

KUCHING -- The Sarawak Teachers' Union has urged the Education Ministry to re-introduce caning in schools to restore student discipline.

Union president William Gani Bina said the use of psychology and counselling had not worked.

"Caning will ensure discipline and orderly behaviour of the students," he said, commenting on a recent statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad that wrongdoings by school children should be made public.

Mr Gani said that if caning were to be re-introduced, the ministry should draw "proper guidelines" to ensure that teachers or school heads did not go overboard.

He said students became indisciplined and committed wrongdoings inside and outside school because there was no effective deterrent.

He also said teachers feared students would retaliate if they were reprimanded in class. -- NST.

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