Deputy education minister says decision on JB teacher who caned girl after today’s meeting

Deputy Minister of Education Teo Nie Ching speaks to reporters during her visit at SJK (T) Permatang Tinggi in Nibong Tebal June 25, 2019. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Deputy Minister of Education Teo Nie Ching speaks to reporters during her visit at SJK (T) Permatang Tinggi in Nibong Tebal June 25, 2019. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

SEBERANG PERAI, June 25 ― A three-way meeting involving the parents of a female student, the teacher who caned her for calling him names and the Johor Baru district education office will be held later today, Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said.

She said the Education Ministry will decide on the next course of action only after the meeting.

“A decision on what action to take will be made after the meeting today,” she told reporters after a work visit at the SJK (T) Permatang Tinggi here.

She was responding to questions on an incident in which a secondary school female student was allegedly caned by her teacher recently.

A short video clip of a woman, believed to be the student’s mother, berating the male teacher for caning the girl, has seen been shared widely on social media.

Pictures of the bruises on the girl’s arms and legs, allegedly from the caning, were also shared.

Teo confirmed the incident happened in a secondary school in Johor Baru earlier this month.

She added that caning of female students are not allowed, in accordance with the ministry’s circular dating back to 2003.

“Even caning for male students, only two areas are allowed, on the palm of the hand or the buttocks and only the head master or school principal has the authority to do so,” the deputy minister said.

She acknowledged that teaching is a tough job, but reminded teachers that it was their duty to inculcate love and mutual respect for each other.

“This incident shows that our teachers can sometimes have problems in controlling their emotions so we are ready to provide counselling services to teachers with emotional issues,” she said.

She said the incident highlighted the need for sex education to be taught as a subject to educate future generations about gender discrimination and name-calling.

In the short video clip that was shared on social media, the student’s mother can be heard berating the teacher for caning the girl and leaving her with bruises and welts for a name-calling misdemeanour.

It is believed that the student had called the teacher “ah kua” ― also spelt “ah qua” ― which means effeminate in the Hokkien dialect, before the caning

The teacher is seen defending himself, saying the girl only apologised after the caning and after a friend urged her to do so.

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