QUESTION NO. 9:
Dr. S. Ramakrishnan ask the MINISTER OF EDUCATION to state what are the government action against the principle at a school in Ayer Tawar, Perak who has ordered three girls to remove their underwear during an inspection of whether they bring mobile phones to school or not. The incident occurred on October 17.
Ministry of Education (MOE) has issued Professional Circular No. 2/2009 dated March 25, 2009 relating to Enforcement and Prohibition of Bringing and Using Cell Phones by the Students at the school. This prohibition was made with regards to the use of mobile phones in schools which was found to be abused during the teaching and learning. In addition, it had also caused various other disciplinary problems such as theft, fighting, and dissemination of material information that may negatively influence behavior among students. If there are students who fail to comply with this regulation, the telephone can be taken by the school and will be handed back to the parents or guardians. The school as a disciplinary authority is given the power to enforce this prohibition. However, in terms of enforcement, the school cannot arbitrarily make up the inspection may affect the dignity and rights of a pupil.
Issues that occurred in SMK Ayer Tawar, Manjung, Perak on 11 October 2010 are relates to the three girls who are suspected of using cell phones on the back of the school girls toilet room. These girls were suspected to have refused to comply with the ban based on their action of frequent visit to toilets. Principal of the school had instructed the Chief of Discipline (women) to make inspections, including “body search”. The inspection process was witnessed by Senior Assistant of Student Affairs (women). In this regard;
- All three students were given counselling and advice for disobeying a direction by the school for any examination if requested and always obey the school rules;
- School disciplinary authority also was reprimanded for taking action that may be affecting the dignity and rights of a student;
- School principal in a meeting with the parents of pupils on the October 15, 2010 at the Police Station Ayer Tawar had apologized to the parents of pupils concerned.