Saturday, July 9, 2011
SIBU: Headmasters are legally responsible for keeping pupils within the school gates to safeguard their safety.
For that reason, they cannot simply allow the children to leave and come as they wish, said Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) president William Ghani Bina.
“Headmasters shoulder heavy responsibility as they need to safeguard the safety of all pupils including boarders.
“Children are very vulnerable outside the school gate and can be swayed by negative influences.
“What if a female pupil is targeted by bad hats outside the school gate? Headmasters will be the first one answerable to such untoward incident.
“And mind you, they (headmasters) can be sued by parents for negligence for letting children leave the hostels as and when they (children) like,” Ghani told The Borneo Post Wednesday.
He explained that parents needed to meet with the headmasters if their children needed to be excused from school.
“It is very risky to allow a 12-year-old child to leave the school just because he or she asks to do so. Headmasters would be treading in deep waters if they do so,” he grimaced.
He was on Wednesday asked his view on three Primary Six pupils of a school here who filed a police report alleging that their headmaster caned and scolded them for refusing to stay in the hostel.
According to a news report in The Borneo Post on the same day, Embark Tani said his daughter Michelle Menti Embark, his niece Jasthasha Jemat and nephew Helexson Mani Abo returned to the longhouse from school on Monday with bruises on their buttocks, arms and hands.
To this, Ghani explained: “The parents should have sought clarifications from the headmasters first. And from there, if they were still not satisfied with the explanations, they could pursue the matter with the Education Department.”
Towards this end, he called on parents to understand the heavy responsibilities borne by headmasters and teachers.
“Parents need to understand there are rules and regulations to follow in schools, and all parties need to work closely to ensure their children get the best of education in a conducive environment,” Ghani concluded.
Source: The Borneo Post