Monday, August 16, 2010
SIBU: Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) clarifies that the authority to cane students was never taken away from teachers but only those with written approval can mete out such punishment.Its president William Ghani Bina said every teacher was a discipline teacher and he or she could punish students, with exception of caning.
Citing the circular letter no: 10/2001 dated Sept 24, 2001 signed by the then director-general of Education Tan Sri Rafee Mahat, Ghani said: “Every teacher is a discipline teacher and caning is allowed in extreme cases such as fighting in school.
“As such, disciplinary matters are not confined to principals, headmasters or discipline teachers.”
He, however, explained that only those teachers with a written approval from principals or headmasters could carry out caning.
According to Bernama, National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng reportedly said the union had suggested that the authority to cane students be given back to teachers in order to control students who were having perennial disciplinary problems.
Ghani explained that caning was not to punish students but to educate them — unlike in prison.
“In school, we cane to educate students to make them aware of their mistakes and guide them towards the correct path. Therefore, we hope parents too can play their role by working closely with us and educate their children,” he said.
“It is better to be caned by a small rotan than a big one in prison,” he joked.
Ghani said a student could be caned not more than three times a day.
Turning to the teachers, he urged them to deal with minor disciplinary matters on their own and not refer everything to the school head.
“Otherwise, principals and headmasters will be tearing their hair out in coping with mounting work.
“The serious or extreme cases must be referred to the principal or headmaster for further actions,” he advised.
Source:The Borneo Post Online