Rights abuses in schools 'on the rise'


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 01 Apr 2003

BY GAVIN GOMEZ

KUALA LUMPUR: Human rights abuses in schools are on the rise and have been classified as “serious” by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam). 

These abuses include the denial of places in schools for academically-weak and disabled students, disciplinary abuses by both students and teachers, vandalism and the lack of attention towards students’ non-academic development. 

Suhakam’s education working group chairman Prof Dr Chiam Heng Keng said a recent report included a case where an academically-weak student was denied a place in a school which was purportedly full. 

The school later enrolled 50 new students. 

Prof Chiam said bullying, extortion and forcing students to join gangs were also classified as human rights abuses as they infringed upon a person’s freedom of association. 

“When a student is made to join a gang or pay a fee to be ‘protected’ in school, it is an abuse,” she told reporters after attending the launching of Suhakam’s Human Rights Message Art Competition here yesterday. 

She said Suhakam would be conducting a study on the matter. 

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin, who launched the event, said it was impossible to know of all cases of human rights abuse in schools as the ministry depended on parents and students for reports.  

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