Communication is key: Chong chatting with preschoolers after opening the telematch event at SJKC Kuo Min in Seremban.
SEREMBAN: Parents must keep a close watch on their children to ensure they do not become victims of sexual abuse, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon.
He said parents should also take the trouble to find out why their children refused to go to preschool, a child care centre or to a relative.
“You must always communicate with your children and pay attention to these things because we have received many cases of young children being sexually abused.
“The situation is so serious that the Government had to table legislation in Parliament to further protect our children from sexual predators,” he said when opening a telematch event for preschools at SJKC Kuo Min here.
Chong said many children also found it difficult to tell their parents if they have been sexually abused.
“Some of them are so young that they do not even know if the act is right or wrong,” he said.
In March, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said tabled the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017, which among others, aims to protect children from sexual offences.
It will also have more bite to deal with sexual predators preying on the young.
Grooming, touching, stalking, suggesting that children expose themselves or getting them to take part in sexually explicit conduct will soon be offences once the proposed legislation is passed by Parliament.
On a separate matter, Chong said all preschool teachers will be required to have at least a diploma in early childhood education by 2020.
“We have already reminded all preschools about this ruling and given them ample time to comply.
“It is our hope this is taken seriously,” he said, adding that the ruling was part of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025.
He said a big number of preschool teachers only had Sijil Rendah Pelajaran qualifications and this was no longer sufficient.
“We need to raise the standard of preschool education and one step is by making it compulsory for these teachers to have a diploma at least,” he added.