BANGI: Teachers are allowed to cane students but only if the school head gives the go-ahead.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said school heads are allowed to delegate caning to a teacher if the need arises.
“However, caning cannot be done in public and must be done according to stipulated procedures,” he said after officiating the closing ceremony for the national level Excellent Cluster Schools Convention 2017.
He was commenting on a Malay daily’s report on Wednesday that the Education Ministry was studying whether to let teachers use the cane.
According to the daily, Mahdzir said the move, if adopted, would help curb social ills in schools. He said some quarters were against caning, but whether counselling alone was effective in dealing with disciplinary problems is questionable.
The ministry, he said, would update and make its existing guidelines more holistic.
Based on a 2003 circular, Mahdzir clarified that school heads, at their discretion, can appoint other teachers to cane students. However, he added, the strict caning guidelines must be followed.
These include no public caning, girls cannot be caned and only a light strike on either the hand or covered buttocks.
The caning must also be documented, according to the circular.
National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan said allowing teachers to cane students reduces disciplinary issues, misdemeanour and criminal offences.
Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin, however, doesn’t think caning is necessary if the teachers and school heads are good.
He said a weak teacher would have a harder time controlling the class and handling students.
“Some schools have minimal disciplinary problems, while it’s rampant in others. So it boils down to management,” he said.