Thursday, March 10, 2011
I REFER to the letter “Introduce safety education in school” (NST, March 8) which merits serious attention.
I have on several occasions emphasised that like fostering unity, safety education should begin in schools if we are to see the emergence of an anti-crime culture among young Malaysians.
Crime and violence among the young are quite rampant today and there are students who behave like gangsters in schools. Over the years there have also been several cases of missing schoolchildren. All this goes to show that we must never take the safety of young people for granted.
In the wake of heinous crimes against children such as kidnapping, assault, abuse, sodomy, rape and even murder, we need to do more to protect children from harm. Protecting children from violence is an integral component of protecting their right to survive, grow and develop.
Protecting children from despicable criminal acts is the responsibility of all. It is not just the duty of the authorities concerned but society as a whole.
Protection of children must start from the the home. Parents must not neglect their responsibility and should teach their children how to respond to potentially dangerous situations.
Parents and guardians of children must always be vigilant and alert to ensure the safety of their children.
They need to advise their children to be wary of strangers, educate them on safety and what to do when untoward incidents occur.
Their children’s whereabouts must be monitored and they must not be allowed to move around unsupervised.
Children must be taught to be suspicious of strangers all the time and not be lured by people unknown to them.
Schools can play an important role in this regard. I strongly advocate that child safety education be introduced in our schools.
Innocent schoolchildren can prove to be most vulnerable, in the absence of safety education, to criminals.
The police and other relevant authorities can also implement various measures to ensure better protection of children and the public.
The Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation has worked with the Education Ministry to set up Crime Prevention Clubs in both primary and secondary schools.
To date 5,587 clubs have been set up with 3,576 in primary schools and 2,011 in secondary schools.
These clubs only serve to create awareness about crime prevention among schoolchildren. Of paramount importance is to introduce safety education in schools.
Safety education is not confined to crime but includes teaching schoolchildren the importance of creating a safe school environment.
Read more: Parenting: Teach your kids about safety http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/21palent/Article/#ixzz1GFYwncGN