KUCHING: The Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS) would like schools to conduct personal safety programmes for students to promote greater awareness on the subject.
Its president Margaret Bedus said that personal safety could be incorporated under the 3K programme of cleanliness, health and safety in schools.
“Under safety at the moment, schools are focusing on things like fire or break-ins. We feel that schools should incorporate personal safety to cover issues like bullying, abuse and kidnapping,” she said recently, adding that the society would be willing to support such programmes by providing materials and other assistance.
In addition, she said the society was willing to go to teachers’ training colleges to conduct personal safety training for trainee teachers so that they would be equipped to handle the subject later.
Bedus also said the society was running the Family Safety First programme in collaboration with the Women’s Bureau to enhance awareness on personal safety.
The programme targets students, parents and teachers and covers a broad range of personal safety issues from sexual abuse and safe relationships to building self-esteem and empowering children.
It also teaches communications skills so that children can learn to communicate effectively with their parents and teachers and vice-versa.
A pilot seminar was held here last October and the society plans to continue working with the Women’s Bureau to take it to other parts of Sarawak this year.
“Members of the public are welcome to attend but ideally we would like whole families to come so that parents and children can learn together,” Bedus said.
Gill Raja, one of SWWS’s trainers, said that Family Safety First aimed to address parents’ anxiety and teenage concerns about relationships and personal safety in today’s society.
“We feel that students, parents and teachers need to have the awareness and skills to deal with these issues.
“Having held the first seminar last October, we now encourage Parent-Teacher Associations to consider how they can promote similar programmes in their schools,” she said.