The guidelines on the punishment of students as practised in the Western education system are not suitable to be adopted in Malaysian schools, says Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor.
According to NST, Sanusi said removing the teachers’ power to mete out disciplinary punishments does not help the country in churning out an educated future generation.
He said that while the no punishment guidelines may be suitable for western countries such as the United States of America and Finland, this will not work the same in Malaysia.
“I think if students can’t be fined, can’t be caned, can’t be reprimanded and we can’t scold them, we are just inviting danger into the education system.”
“Maybe there are great experts who say that we can’t do this and we have to do that, but in my opinion, we will be reduced to just breeding ‘ayam daging’ (broiler chickens) in schools.”
“I don’t know how the education minister will respond. It is up to him, but I am of the opinion that we shouldn’t be breeding ‘ayam daging’ in schools. We need to produce educated people in schools,” he was quoted as saying.
He said this after opening a workshop on Enhancing Operational Engagement of Community Parents and Private Sector with the Parent-Teacher Associations in Kedah schools at the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) in Sintok on Monday (20 June).
Nonetheless, he said teachers must not go overboard with punishments too. “For example, teachers shouldn’t be punishing students to do 100 squats until their thighs get sore,” he said.
“We need moderation. What is important is for the students to learn from their mistakes,” he added.
Sanusi then said the education system in each country should be developed based on the local cultures and background, instead of applying a universal system practiced in Western countries.
“Universal standards should not be applied everywhere as standards need to be based on the cultural construct of different societies,” he said.
In May, a 15-year-old student from Kulai, Johor was hospitalised after she was allegedly made to run 30 laps around a volleyball court with a face mask as a form of punishment by her teacher.
This prompted the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Wang Heng Suan to urge the Education Ministry to update guidelines for student punishments consistent with today’s standards.