Minister wants end to ‘period spot checks’

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Rina Harun (pic) has promised to engage the relevant authorities to stop the “shocking period spot checks” being conducted on female students in schools as outrage continues.

The Women, Family and Community Development Minister said the practice was unacceptable and shouldn’t happen in schools.

“I take this matter seriously. I will follow up with the relevant ministries such as the Education Ministry and Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) so that this doesn’t happen again.

“This is very shocking, it is unimaginable, ” Rina was quoted as saying by Bernama yesterday.

A similarly upset Dr Maszlee Malik also slammed the practice and called for it to be stopped.

Describing it as degrading and uncalled for, the former education minister said it should never have happened anywhere, “what more in learning institutions”.

“Education should be about love, happiness, nurturing integrity, dignity, sense of responsibility and mutual respect.

“The reported case is a disgrace to the community and must be stopped and condemned.

“Our school children should be kept safe in schools and protected from any form of harm and abuse, ” he posted in a series of tweets yesterday.

An online English portal reported that in multiple schools, girls have to undergo “period spot checks” that violate their privacy to prove that they are menstruating and hence, are exempted from prayers.

This was according to current students and those who left school as far back as 20 years ago.

The measures included showing their blood-soaked sanitary pads, doing swabs of their vagina with either cotton buds, tissues or fingers, or having a teacher, warden or school prefect pat them down at the groin to feel if they are wearing a sanitary pad, they said.

The practice has been condemned by several women’s NGOs – All Women’s Action Society (Awam), Sisters In Islam (SIS) and Pertubuhan Pembangunan Kendiri Wanita dan Gadis (Women:Girls) – in a joint statement.

Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said and former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz have also voiced their concern and asked the Education Ministry to put a stop to it.

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