Education ministry open to feedback on caning in schools

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Education is open to receiving feedback from the public on caning of students in school, said Deputy Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon.

"At this moment we would not consider to abolish corporal punishment, but we are always open for opinions. If the public think we have to stop it totally, we have to discuss (it first)," he said.

He was commenting on the proposal by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission for the Education Ministry to abolish caning in schools following the death of 11-year-old tahfiz student Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi in Johor on Wednesday.

Chong was met after presenting prizes at the national-level Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca (Nilam) Award 2017 ceremony at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.

The deputy minister said parents should be more concerned about their children's wellbeing and spend more time with them in order to keep up with their development in school.

"You need to talk to your children. If you do not communicate with them, they won't tell you things that happen to them. Maybe they are too scared to share their experience," he said.

Chong also said that although former convicts could be hired to work in schools, they should be given a more suitable post, such as a security guard, but not a warden.

Meanwhile, he said the Nilam Award which was introduced in 2003 was the highest form of recognition from the Ministry of Education to develop the habit of reading among students in line with the nation's goal of creating a well informed and knowledgeable society.

The award also included recognition for children with special needs, which saw visually-impaired Nik Muhammad Ahnaf Rujihee Raja Anuar, 12, picked up an award after reading 150 braille books in the past year.

"I had been declared blind since I was six years old, but it does not stop me from reading books, especially Islamic ones," he told reporters.

The eldest of four children from SK Pendidikan Khas Jalan Batu, here, took home RM1,000, a tablet computer, as well as a certificate. — Bernama