Posted on February 9, 2011, Wednesday
by Peter Boon.
Father of boarding school student comes up with police and medical reports to support claim
SIBU: What was supposed to be a much awaited and joyful meeting up with roommates turned nightmarish for two boarders at a secondary school in Durin Sunday night.
Life at the hostel would never be the same again for the two Form One students – Nicholas Novy Gumbang and Sylvester Ansam Stephen, who alleged that they were caned by the chief warden for failing to fill the ‘Request To Stay In School Hostel’ form (Borang untuk tinggal di asrama sekolah).
Social activist Dr Johnny Kieh related the incident to The Borneo Post yesterday after Gumbang Tegap, the father of Nicholas, brought the matter to his attention, claiming that there were bruise marks on his son’s buttock from the caning.
Johnny, however, said he did not see the injury personally.
“I was truly surprised when the father told me that his son and another were caned in front of other students that night for failing to fill up the form,” he said.
“That should not be the case as teachers, being professionals, should have emotional intelligence. They should not be emotional or react in such a manner as their actions could affect students psychologically,” he said.
Worse still, he added, the two boys were now traumatised and fearful of going to school.
Johnny said Gumbang learnt of the incident when his son and Sylvester were asked to return to their longhouse in Nanga Mangut, Sungai Machan, Kanowit and given a form each to complete.
“The boys told Gumbang that their hostel warden had caned them once on the buttock with a rattan,” he disclosed.
Terribly upset over the matter, the boy’s father lodged a report at the Central Police Station here on Monday, revealed Johnny who once served as a councillor with the Sibu Municipal Council.
The two students were later sent to Sibu General Hospital for medical examination, he added.
Citing the police report made by Gumbang, Johnny said the father claimed that the boys had earlier submitted the form to their form teacher.
In the report, the father also claimed that the students suffered bruises on their backs due to the caning.
Among others, the report alleged that the incident took place around 9pm last Sunday during a night class at a school in Durin.
Johnny, himself a former teacher, disclosed that the father had also sent a letter to the prime minister and the Ministry of Education, calling on them to probe the matter and take action against the teacher.
The letter was also carbon copied to the state director of Education and the local education officer with copies of medical and police reports enclosed.
Towards this end, the social activist hoped that the relevant authority
could expedite their investigation into the matter and take appropriate action if the teacher was in the wrong.
“We do not want this incident to send a wrong message to the public that teachers, entrusted with the responsibility of moulding the cream of the nation, are prone to acting rashly instead of rationally,” Johnny stressed.