Groups question absence of ‘period check’ committee

PETALING JAYA: Parents groups are asking what has happened to the committee that was formed to look into the “period spot check” issue happening in some schools.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said it has been four months since Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin said the ministry was finalising the names of members who would sit on the committee.

“It was in April that victims highlighted period spot checks to the Education Ministry.

“It is now October and we have not heard anything from the committee.

“We urge the Education Ministry to not sweep this matter under the carpet as it involves the dignity and rights of our daughters.

“It is also tantamount to sexual harassment by superiors, authorities or ‘little napoleons’ who seem to be ignorant of the gravity of it all,” she added.

Calling it a “long drawn practice of absurd proportions”, Noor Azimah said they want to see it “banned forever.”

She was responding to the latest “period spot check” allegation tweeted by an Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia officer.

According to the tweet, about 30 female students from a school in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, were given cotton buds and asked to prove they were menstruating on Oct 18.

In response, Radzi said he met the students involved to get the details on Tuesday, and also met with the school’s principal and teachers.

“I take the allegations seriously. If there is such a practice in any Education Ministry institution, we are committed to ensuring it does not continue to happen,” he said in a social media post later Tuesday.

This is not the first time “period spot checks” have been reported.

In April, some students took to social media to reveal that the practice was happening in schools during the month of Ramadhan.

Following the revelation, Radzi said the ministry would set up a committee to look into the “period spot check” allegations and other similar issues that may crop up in the future.

Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin also asked what had happened to the committee that was formed to look into the issue.

He said that since June, there has been no word about the committee from the ministry.

He also said that stern action must be taken against those who committed the act to prevent a recurrence.

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