Education Ministry launches guidelines to address bullying, sexual harassment

BUKIT MERTAJAM: The Education Ministry has launched two important guidelines for managing the issues of misconduct, especially those related to bullying and sexual harassment, in a bid to create a safe ecosystem within educational institutions.

Minister Fadhlina Sidek said both guidelines are crucial for sustaining advocacy efforts across all levels to ensure that awareness, responsibility and concern for these issues can be collectively addressed.

She said that the committee responsible for formulating both guidelines also took into account recent changes, such as redefining cyberbullying and proposing intervention programmes for managing bullying and sexual harassment.

"We hope all members of the ministry will give their commitment to implementing these guidelines to ensure that these issues can be resolved immediately.

"The focus of these guidelines is to protect human dignity and prevent violation against it from happening within our school ecosystem,” she told a press conference after officiating at the ‘Sahsiah Terbilang Hentikan Buli: Membentuk Anak Yang Baik Lagi Cerdik’ programme here on Friday (Sept 22).

Fadhlina said Friday’s programme was an example of the ministry’s intervention in curbing the symptoms of bullying among students by providing guidance and awareness about the harmful impact of bullying on mental and physical health, apart from educating them not to engage in such behaviour.

She also stressed that bullying, sexual harassment and racial discrimination are the three ‘major sins’ within the ministry, where it would not compromise with offenders.

"In my opinion, the bullying situation in schools in this country is still under control and we already have an efficient working process to deal with this issue.

"However, if there are parties who are still not satisfied with this process, they can take legal action against any action we have taken,” she said.

She added that the ministry would issue a circular later to provide more details on the implementation of the guidelines.- Bernama

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