KUALA LUMPUR: Every school must have a copy of the Education Ministry’s disciplinary guidelines.
Teachers, especially new ones entering the profession, aren’t aware of what they’re allowed to do and the standard operating procedure for disciplining students.
The two books — general discipline guidelines in schools, and discipline guidelines for teachers and schoolheads — were published in 1981 and 1988 respectively.
There are over 10,000 schools nationwide but many don’t have a copy of the books.
That’s one reason why teachers are being dragged to court by parents who are unhappy with how their children are being disciplined in schools, said National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) president Kamarozaman Abd Razak.
But legal action, he said, is detrimental to children as it’s emotionally distressing.
“These books make clear what teachers are allowed to do but many schools don’t have copies of them anymore.
“We couldn’t even find them in bookshops.
“The books, however, must be updated in line with the changing times,” he said, adding that parents could also read the books to know the role and limits a teacher has in meting out punishment.
The books, like the 200,000-strong union’s newly completed code of ethics on parent-teacher relations, would promote better understanding between parents and teachers, he told a press conference here yesterday.
On Jan 7, NUTP secretary-general Harry Tan told Sunday Star that key points in the code include disallowing helmets, or other items that could be used as a “weapon”, in school.
The code, Kamarozaman said, called on parents who have issues with a teacher to see the schoolhead first before going to the authorities.
But the police, he said, would be called in if parents entered with helmets, or items that could cause harm.
“We’re waiting to present the code to the ministry.
“It can be distributed on registration day so that parents and teachers are on the same page.”
Tan, who was also at the press conference, said the code, which was drawn up with input from other non-governmental organisations, “spells out 15 do’s, and eight don’ts”.
On Jan 1, Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan said the guidelines for disciplinary action against students were in its final stages of being updated.
Punishment for new issues like cyberbullying are reportedly to be introduced.