Discipline in Malaysian Schools

by BerryBerryTeacher

in Berry Wise (Teachers)

In the “good ol’ days” as often said by most parents, students who misbehaved in school are often being disciplined a second time by their parent at home. Times have changed, nowadays, parents are more than willing to pamper their children. Whether it is a good or bad thing, it is sure that punitive measures are no longer working in the present society.

Discipline in School – A New Disciplinary Guidelines for Malaysian Schools

The Ministry of Education (MOE) of Malaysia is drawing up a new set of school disciplinary guidelines to maintain discipline in schools and to update the methods to discipline students. Berry Berry Easy will share some views on this issue.


Background on School Discipline in Malaysia

  • At present, the method for maintaining school discipline, is prescribed in the “School Disciplinary Procedure Handbook for Headmasters and Teachers“.
  • However this was written many years back. [Unverified, but the guidelines are probably formulated with the Education Act of 1996.]
  • Schools and their teachers are expected to follow the guidelines outlined in the guidelines, especially in handing out punishments to misbehaving students.
  • Teachers are not allowed to conduct punishments or act beyond the permitted disciplinary methods prescribed.

Berry Berry Easy views:

  • Should a copy of the “School Disciplinary Procedure Handbook for Headmasters and Teachers” be also handed to all parents?
  • This way, everybody will be able to understand what entails a proper disciplinary action and what are abuses.

The Issues Involving Present Day Disciplinary Measures

  • Some disciplinary teachers in their eagerness to carry out their duties, may have stepped across the border, causing physical and mental harm to the students.
  • Complaints reported against the errand teachers, if found to be true, will enter their “service record“.
  • In event of criminal offences, a police investigation will proceed against the teacher in question, and be punished by the law.

Berry Berry Easy views:

  • It is unclear if the present day issues involving teachers mishandling students occurs due to a drop in standards of teachers in student handling or a higher rate of students reporting abuses which went unreported in the past.
  • It is possibly a mix of both and also a change in society where abuses are no longer tolerated.
  • The intolerance to abuses is definitely the way for the future, however the intolerances to abuses might also pave to way for an abuse in reporting.
  • Teachers should definitely not step across the line separating discipline and abuse.

Present Day Scenario

  • When the current guidelines was set up, the mentality of the society was much different from present day societal mentality. Parents-teacher relationships are not the same as they used to be anymore.
  • In the past, teachers are respected figures in the community. At present, it is widely perceived that the standing of teachers has taken a minor fall.
  • Methods which were acceptable in previous times are now frown upon.
  • The emphasise should not be on punitive measures, but more on correcting students and letting them understand why they are being punished.

Berry Berry Easy views:

  • The respect for teachers remain, however teachers should no longer take for granted that society should respect teachers for being educators.
  • Teachers must earn that respect from their students and also parents.
  • If a teacher is respected by the parents through earning it, it is more likely that issues involving abuses of students will diminish.

The Impending New Student Disciplinary Guidelines

  • Should punitive measures remain for the more misbehaving students? Some say, “spare the rod and spoil the child”. Some say that “Punitive measures have no place in school as schools institution of learning”.

Berry Berry Easy views:

  • Regardless of the eventual measures adopted, the emphasis should be also be placed on the monitoring of the implementation of disciplinary measures.
  • There should be more check and balances to ensure that there are no abuse of power.
  • This way, the standing of teachers in society can once again rise to where it could have been.

Berry Berry Easy would like to hear your views on this. How would you discipline students?

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