THE Education Ministry must provide clear guidelines for teachers to deal with pupils’ disciplinary problems, said National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary general Tan Hock Huat.
Guang Ming Daily reported Tan said many teachers are at their wit’s end to deal with troubled students without corporal punishment.
He said the teachers cannot raise their voice, nag and can only cane students guilty of disciplinary problems lightly.
“For example, pupils sniffing glue is a disciplinary problem but the laws do not specify clearly it is wrong.
“We want to deal with it but if the parents were to kick up a fuss, we will lose before going to court,” Tan was quoted as saying.
He said the NUTP has presented its 14-point parental code of ethics to the Education Minister.
Last month, the NUTP provided legal support and rallied some 300 teachers to support a teacher, Azizan Manap, who was charged for slapping a student guilty of sniffing glue, fighting and bullying.
The case against the disciplinary teacher at SK Taman Semarak, Nilai was subsequently withdrawn.
“I don’t want to comment whether Azizan was right. The question is why did so many teachers support him?
“It’s because the school’s pupils do have a disciplinary problem,” said Tan.
He said the union originally only wanted to provide legal support when Azizan sought their help but decided to support him after listening to various opinions.
Tan said NUTP also opposed a suggestion from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to remove expulsion.
“Those who always play truant should be expelled. When they are absent from exams, the school cannot achieve 100% attendance.”
He related a case where a pupil was guilty of serial bullying. NUTP found the pupil should have been expelled but was allowed to return to school after the parents appealed to the Education Ministry.
“The student will think: what can the teacher do? He won’t be afraid and will continue to cause trouble,” said Tan. – January 1, 2018.