'You touch, you go,' Fadhlina warns teachers who sexually harass students

SHAH ALAM: "You touch, you go," warns Fadhlina Sidek, saying that teachers who sexually exploit their students will be sacked.

The Education Minister also stressed on the ministry's commitment to create an ecosystem of safety in every school.

"For these students, schools are the second safest after their homes.

"That is why our teachers must be prepared to be trained, given guidance, and confidence to report if these cases occur in their respective schools," she said.

She added that this included sporting activities.

"We are working with the Youth and Sports Ministry to ensure children are safe while doing sports activities," she said during the national convention on protection of students against sexual exploitation here on Saturday (March 16).

During the convention, both the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) and the Education Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding to combat under-reporting of sexual offences against children.

"The objective is to give awareness to the schools and headmasters to understand the existence of Section 19.

"We want to ensure the schools will assist us in implementing the law," said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reforms) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said when met with reporters here.

According to Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 (Act 1972), anyone who was aware of sexual abuse against children but failed to report the matter to the police could be charged in court and if convicted, fined up to RM5,000.

Fadhlina also said that schools should not be hindered by fear when reporting such cases.

"That’s the purpose of today's convention, to give confidence to the teachers to report.

"We want to avoid things like fear of reputation, fear of shame and various other obstacles that may have an impact on our children," she said.

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