Education Ministry to issue guidelines on tackling internet abuse, cyberbullies

Source: Malay Mail Online

GELANG PATAH, Jan 1 — The Education Ministry will be formulating guidelines to tackle incidents of internet abuse, especially cyberbullying among students in the country.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan said cyberbullying was one of the main examples that the ministry was looking at in light of students being more tech-savvy.

“The guidelines on students’ behaviour and conduct have always existed, but the ministry will improve on it by including cyberbullying as a current issue that needs to be addressed,” he said.

Kamalanathan said the inclusion of cyberbullying in the behaviour and conduct guidelines will also take into consideration aspects to protect both parties, who are the students as well as teachers. Read more

Caning students is ‘derogatory punishment’ under UN convention

Source: FMT News

Uncat committee willing to work with the government to do away with corporal punishment. Pic drawn from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Caning in schools falls under degrading treatment under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as Uncat).

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Jerald Joseph said if Malaysia chooses to sign the Uncat treaty, it would be a positive step in accepting changes in corporal punishment.

Suhakam commissioner Lok Yim Pheng said the government had taken a step in the right direction by not allowing public caning in schools. Consent is still given to cane students in private. Read more

Tahfiz school ignores angry netizens over student’s death

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 ― A Johor religious school said it did not have to entertain public outrage on the internet over a student’s beating by an assistant warden that allegedly resulted in the amputation of his legs and death.

The management of Madrasah Tahfiz Al-Jauhar (MTAJ), a school based in Kota Tinggi that teaches memorisation of the Quran, also said the word “abuse” might not accurately depict the situation.

“MTAJ does not have to entertain netizens who are too full of suspicion because 97 per cent of them have never dealt with MTAJ and are only talking and writing based on perceptions and sentiments that have been played up,” MTAJ management said on its Facebook page yesterday.

Screenshot of the Faceook Post made by the Madrasah Tahfiz Al-Jauhar (MTAJ.)

“MTAJ will take all suggestions into account for further action. MTAJ only needs to apologise to netizens for our inability to answer all questions,” it added. Read more

Chong: No plans to abolish corporal punishment

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry has no plans to abolish corporal punishment, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon.

“We are open to discussions if the public feels that we should abolish corporal punishment, but for now, we have a different view,” he told reporters after handing out prizes to winners of the national level Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca (Nilam) here yesterday.

Chong was responding to renewed calls from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to abolish corporal punishment in schools following the death of 11-year-old Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gadaffi in a private religious school. Read more

Another student claims abuse in religious school

Source: The Star Online

Painful experience: Suraya Fatima (left) showing Muhammad Resan’s scars to lawyer Gerard Lazarus during the press conference in Klang. Looking on is the boy’s father, M.D. Ekramul. Pic from the Star Online.

Painful experience: Suraya Fatima (left) showing Muhammad Resan’s scars to lawyer Gerard Lazarus during the press conference in Klang. Looking on is the boy’s father, M.D. Ekramul. Pic from the Star Online.

KLANG: Another case of a beating in a religious school has surfaced with an 11-year-old boy claiming an ustaz (religious teacher) in a private religious boarding school had abused him and threatened him with more punishment if he complained to his parents.

“He also said my brain would not be able to memorise the Quran if I complained about an ustaz,” said Muhammad Resan Abdullah.

The ustaz has since been charged in court but after reading about the fate that had be­fallen Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gadaffi, his parents engaged a lawyer yesterday to re-examine the case. Read more

When Malaysian school authorities use the rod… and physically harm children

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A school boy walks past a street mural depicting a school bus and students in Shah Alam, January 2, 2014. — Reuters pic.

A school boy walks past a street mural depicting a school bus and students in Shah Alam, January 2, 2014. — Reuters pic.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — An assistant hostel warden’s beating of an Islamic religious student which resulted in the amputation of the 11-year-old’s legs and his subsequent death on Wednesday may well be the most severe abuse case in schools in recent years.

Alleged abuses of schoolchildren by adults entrusted to teach and care for them have ranged from verbal to physical hurt to degrading treatment and public humiliation.

Here is a list of selected cases where students were reportedly abused: Read more

Unicef urges corporal punishment ban, in light of Thaqif’s death

Source: FMT News

It's a misperception that physical punishment is the only way to instil discipline among children, says Unicef spokesperson in Malaysia. Pic from FMT News.

It’s a misperception that physical punishment is the only way to instil discipline among children, says Unicef spokesperson in Malaysia. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has joined in the nationwide grief over the death of 11-year-old Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi, saying the incident underlines the need to ban corporal punishment in schools.

“The loss of Mohamad Thaqif to his family, school and society is a stark reminder of the negative consequences of corporal punishment and violence as a form of discipline,” said spokesperson for Unicef in Malaysia, Marianne Clark-Hattingh.

She said there were more effective methods which are “non-violent” to discipline children. Read more

Corporal punishment must stop, Suhakam tells govt after schoolboy dies

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Razali insisted on mandatory background checks for all school hires and expressed disbelief that there are no legal procedures for schools to check on potential staff before they are allowed to work with children. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

Razali insisted on mandatory background checks for all school hires and expressed disbelief that there are no legal procedures for schools to check on potential staff before they are allowed to work with children. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — Outraged by the death of 11-year-old Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gadaffi yesterday, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) wants the government to abolish corporal punishment in schools.

Its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail reminded the government that corporal punishments violate the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) because the violent measures damage a child physically, mentally and emotionally.

“This tragic case is a horrendous reminder to the Government that corporal punishment in schools must be eliminated because any form of physical violence against a child negatively impacts on the enjoyment of the child’s many other rights and aspects of the child’s development including his/her psychological, health, education and social status,” he said in a statement today.

Malaysia ratified the CRC in 1995.

Razali noted that prior to his death, the student of the private Islamic boarding school in Kota Tinggi, Johor was allegedly repeatedly physically punished, including a beating with a rubber hose by the dormitory assistant warden who was a former convict. Read more

Finally free from ‘abuse’ after 10 years, children may now lose their home

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The girls at the Caring Hands home in Ipoh talk about their decade-long abuse under the previous caretakers. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

The girls at the Caring Hands home in Ipoh talk about their decade-long abuse under the previous caretakers. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

IPOH, Dec 27 — After enduring physical and mental abuse for about 10 years while living in a home for underprivileged children, a group of 12 girls finally spoke up. But now they are in danger of losing the very home that has given them some semblance of normalcy… despite the alleged abuse.

The girls, aged between seven to 18, live in Kaakum Karangal (Tamil for “Caring Hands”) located in the middle-class Lim Garden neighbourhood of Ipoh.

They study at the Tarcisian Convent primary and secondary schools which are just walking distance away and largely regarded as one of Ipoh’s more prominent schools.

The home, established in 2002, is funded by the Society of Caring Hands Ipoh, an NGO comprising successful and respected Indian businessmen, retired top civil servants, and other highly-regarded professionals from Ipoh.

But earlier this year, an unexpected turn of events caused the previously passive members of the society to look closely at how the home was run, which later brought to light allegations of both physical and mental abuse. Read more

Deep concern over corporal punishment against children in schools — Suhakam

Source: The Malay Mail Online

SUHAKAMMAY 14 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (“the Commission”) welcomes the recent proposal by the Ministry of Education Malaysia that schools will be given more authority in managing and addressing disciplinary issues among students as part of an amendment to the Education (School Discipline) Regulations 1959.

However, the Commission is deeply concerned that such methods will include corporal punishment, particularly since the Child (Amendment) Bill 2015 now substitutes the punishment of whipping on male child offenders with community service instead.

The Commission is of the view that there is a mistaken belief held not only by individuals, but is also widespread in various societies and endorsed at Government level that corporal punishment is an effective form of discipline for children. Read more