PUTRAJAYA: Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid today clarified that students with serious disciplinary problems would only be required to visit prisons instead of undergoing rehabilitation programmes there.
“When I said students with disciplinary problems should be taken to prison, I didn’t mean that they should be detained or undergo rehabilitation programmes in prisons. I simply meant that they should be taken to prisons for visits to understand the repercussions of bullying, where officers in the prison can brief them on the seriousness of the crime and the punishments involved if they commit the crime.
“The visit would be more like an educational or awareness tour in prison,” he told reporters after attending the 2015 New Deals for Principals and Headmasters Award presentation ceremony.
Mahdzir was commenting on reports which quoted him as saying that students with serious disciplinary problems would be taken to prisons soon, as part of the ministry’s efforts to fight social problems in school.
He was quoted as saying that students with disciplinary problems such as bullying should be given harsher punishments.
“This, however, is only my personal opinion. I don’t think violent students can be corrected only through counseling. But the collective decision comes from the committee comprising various stakeholders, including the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), teachers’ associations, senior officers from the ministry and non-governmental organisations (NGO),” he said today.
Mahdzir said he would be meeting representatives from various quarters next month to gain feedback on punishments which could and should be meted out against students with disciplinary problems.
Among these would be representatives from PTAs and NGOs, as well as legal advisers.
“We have already issued orders and circulars on bullying. The feedback we ought to receive will help us to understand the matters from various viewpoints, thus helping us to update current implementations,” he added.
Earlier, Mahdzir presented awards to 35 secondary schools and 163 primary schools.
He also launched a guideline book for the Secondwave of Malaysian Education Quality Standard (SKPMg2).