Kulai MP asks education minister why ‘period spot checks’ still happening

As a former deputy education minister during the Pakatan Harapan administration, Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching said there were no guidelines which allowed teachers to carry out such exercises. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
As a former deputy education minister during the Pakatan Harapan administration, Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching said there were no guidelines which allowed teachers to carry out such exercises. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 ― DAP Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching questioned why the education and deputy minister on information have remained silent about accounts of female students being humiliated during “period spot checks.”

Despite the matter being raised by the public, Teo said the minister and deputy minister have yet to comment on the said teachers' actions.

“Our girls are being humiliated in schools, when will the education minister and his deputies finally speak up?” she asked in a statement today.

As a former deputy education minister during the Pakatan Harapan administration, Teo said there were no guidelines which allowed teachers to carry out such exercises. 

“So why have these spot-checks been happening?

“And what shocked us is, to date, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has not issued any statement on this.

“One Senior Minister with two deputies, all males, seem insensitive and cannot be bothered by this horrific incident?” Teo said, adding that even the Penang Mufti has spoken up, condemning the action.

She also pointed out that schools should be a safe place to educate children academically and instill values and show them about love and humanity.

“But we are humiliating our kids because we cannot trust them on school compounds, the irony.

“They need us to make them feel safe and, most importantly, for them to be able to speak to us without being judged,” she said. 

“How can these kids trust us when the adults violate the boundaries?

“Answer this question, how would you feel when people question you and reach out to check your private parts to be sure?” said Teoh.

She added that there are many other ways to instill awareness of the obligations of praying and fasting other than checking their private parts and looking for the sanitary pad.

Yesterday, news portal Malaysiakini reported that girls in multiple schools in Malaysia have had to undergo “period spot checks” where they were told to physically prove they are on their menstruation cycle, through means which violate privacy, according to current students and those who left school up to 20 years ago.

The report cited several accounts by former students who said teachers in school would demand that female students show their blood-soaked sanitary pads, or do swabs of their vagina with either cotton buds, tissues, or their fingers, or having a teacher, warden or school prefect pat them down at the groin to feel if they are wearing a sanitary pad.

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