Education Ministry keeping close tabs on 402 schools with disciplinary issues

PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry is keeping a close watch on 402 schools in the country identified with disciplinary issues among their students.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon said 311 of those have high disciplinary issues, while the remaining 91 schools are categorised as "hotspots" (schools that are inclined to have these problems).

He said the ministry will pay "extra attention" to these schools, and that an action committee has been set up to implement specific programmes to ensure the issue does not worsen.

"The committee comprises the police, the army, Parent Teacher Association and non-governmental associations," he told reporters, here today, after chairing the ministry's committee meeting to address disciplinary issues among school students.

When asked which are the schools being monitored, Chong declined to reveal the schools involved.

Chong said statistics showed that 2.03% of students were involved in various disciplinary issues, including truancy, crime and bullying, between 2012 and 2016, with truancy the main issue.

"Last year alone, 111,895 students had disciplinary problems, 95,046 of whom were secondary schools students while 16,849 were from primary school," he said.

Chong has also set a key performance indicator (KPI) to reduce these disciplinary problems to 0.02% from the current 0.4%.

On claims that bullying cases in schools are on the rise, Chong said the perception only arose because of the various videos of bullying incidents being shared on social media of late.

"From our investigation, some of those videos are old but made their rounds again, while some others were mistaken to be from Malaysia when they were in fact from neighbouring countries," he said.

He pointed out that an average of 0.06% cases were recorded in schools in the past five years.

A total of 4,120 bullying cases were recorded in 2013, 2,906 cases in 2014, 3,011 in 2015, 3,448 in 2016 and 872 cases as of June this year, he said.

He said state education departments, district education offices and schools have also been reminded to take necessary measures to address disciplinary problems among students.