Take bullying more seriously, urge stakeholders

PETALING JAYA: Strict regulations and awareness programmes are critical in eradicating bullying in schools, says educationist and former National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam.

“Teachers and principals play a vital role. They should hold regular talks to remind students of the regulations.

“The Education Ministry and other ministries that oversee educational institutions should take a firm stand in getting rid of bullying in schools once and for all,” he said.

Siva added that boarding school wardens and security personnel should make regular rounds in students’ dormitories.

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Datuk Lok Yim Pheng said there must be consequential disciplinary repercussions against bullies, as well as awareness campaigns and education on respecting each other.

School leadership, she said, should remind students regularly about strict actions that would be taken against those found verbally and/or physically bullying their peers.“When you do not penalise them seriously, they will take bullying lightly. Having public support against bullies will help in changing the bullies’ mindset,” said Lok, a former NUTP secretary-general.

NUTP secretary-general Wang Heng Suan said full-time wardens should be employed in boarding schools.

He said that according to feedback from teachers, the NUTP had found that most bullying cases happened in boarding schools and that instead of hiring full-time wardens, teachers were asked to fill that role.

“This isn’t fair to the teachers because not only are they not paid to do these extra shifts, but it is also a burden on their already heavy workload.

“Employ wardens. They can monitor around the clock,” he said.

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