Monday, May 28, 2012
REGRESSIVE ACTION: Inconsistent with country’s aim to achieve developed nation status, says minister
KUALA KANGSAR: MINISTER in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has shot down a proposal by the National Parent-Teacher Association to reintroduce caning in schools.
Describing it as a regressive action, he said caning was an old way of disciplining students.
The minister in-charge of law said he believed there were many other methods to discipline students.
“I am against caning… Malaysia is trying to achieve developed nation status by 2020.
“Caning has a negative connotation, which is very inconsistent with the developed nation status.
“There are many other methods to address disciplinary problems among students.
“To bring back caning is certainly not one of them…. I would agree with parents who are against caning because it is no longer considered a humane way of dealing with disciplinary problems among students,” he said, after flagging off the Sungai Perak rafting expedition, held in conjunction with Visit Perak Year, here, yesterday.
Nazri, who is Padang Rengas member of parliament, was commenting on the call by the National PTA for the reintroduction of caning in schools.
Its president Datuk Mohd Ali Hassan had said that while not advocating public caning, teachers should be given the authority to carry out corporal punishment as they saw fit.
He had also said that parents, too, should be allowed to cane their children at home.
Admitting that he was not an expert on the matter, Nazri said it was best left to the educationists to come up with better ways to address disciplinary problems.
He said there was no need to press the emergency button following the rise in the number of disciplinary cases among students.
“There will certainly be a rise in disciplinary cases due to the increase in the number of students.
“You cannot compare the number of students now with the number of students back in the 1960s.
“There are better ways to deal with disciplinary problems and caning is not one of them
“I don’t think it will stop disciplinary problems.
“I strongly object to the reintroduction of caning in schools.”
Nazri also pointed out that Malaysia was not the only country with problems of indiscipline among students.
“Can you name me one country which has gone back to caning? None… I think. Britain, France, Germany and Japan… I don’t think they have brought back caning.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Puad Zarkashi urged parents not to react unnecessarily to disciplinary methods like caning as they were intended to benefit students, not harm them.
At present, he said caning was still carried out but only by headmasters and authorised teachers under the Education Regulations (School Discipline) 1959.
Puad said the ministry needed the full support of parents in order to implement its strategies to curb disciplinary issues.
He said caning was not the only method as the ministry had recently introduced other measures to help reduce the number of disciplinary cases in schools.
“We have introduced the ‘Caring Teacher’ culture in schools this year, where teachers greet students at the gate every morning.
“This is practised so that students will enjoy coming to school and can be easily managed.”
Puad also said the ministry was targeting that at least five students would seek the advice of their school counsellors every week.
Under the ministry’s latest Key Performance Index, Puad said they were aiming to reduce disciplinary cases in schools to 2.04 per cent compared with 2.06 per cent in 2010 and 2.05 per cent in 2011.