Malaysiakini has submitted names of 15 schools where female students were subjected to period spot checks to prove they were menstruating, while a few NGOs have called on students and teachers to stage a walkout of class on May 6 or 7 to demand school reforms over the issue of a teacher making rape jokes to students.
I agree with Saiful Nizam Ab Wahab, the father of a 17-year-old teen, Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, who exposed a teacher for making a rape joke to students, who doubted that a walkout by teachers and students to protest sexual harassment in schools is the best way of protest.
I call on the Education Minister, Mohd Radzi Md Jidin to end the denial syndrome of the education authorities on these two issues, period spot checks and teachers make sexist jokes in schools, and to appoint officers to launch a campaign to wipe such bad practices in the school.
Nobody is asking the Education Ministry to go on a witch-hunt and it should be pro-active to create a school culture where such practices would be regarded as improper and highly objectionable.
In the promotion of such a gender-sensitive school culture, the presentation of an award to Ain Husniza for her exemplary conduct in speaking out against improper and unjust actions in schools, should be considered by the Education Ministry.
Can the Education Minister provide such leadership in the schools?