The school holidays are just around the corner and it’s time for systematic change.
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It’s been almost a month since Ain Husniza’s viral TikTok exposing her teacher about his rape “joke”. It has since sparked a nationwide (and now global) discussion to make schools in Malaysia a safer place.
On 12 May, the Ministry of Education (MoE) released a press statement clarifying several developments, specifically on the status of the above-mentioned teacher, the principal, and Ain’s warning notice of expulsion if she were to miss more school.
All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) on Tuesday (18 May) responded to MOE’s statement to call for a ‘long-term systematic intervention’ to address the pervasive culture of sexual harassment and bullying in school.
In short, AWAM has highlighted their findings based on 275 testimonials that were shared with them from 2 social media influencers and survivors. Their analysis yielded some shocking findings such as:
- 125 cases involving period spot checks
- 108 cases bullying cases
- 88 cases of sexual harassment
- 91.6% of survivors were female with 36% being children ages 13-15 years old.
What can MoE, schools and you do?
- Work with relevant society organisations (AWAM being one of them) to implement gender sensitisation training to school authorities on a national level to teach fundamental awareness of gender roles, power, physical boundaries, consent and gender-based violence.
- This should also be implemented in a revision to the curricula in teachers’ training colleges.
- Improve the existing teachers’ code of conduct in colleges or training institutions to include sexual harassment, abuse and bullying, subsequently enforcing it nationally
- Implement a monitoring and evaluation system and other supportive measures and interventions that promote gender equality, and girls’ and women’s empowerment
- Contact the Board of Counsellors in Malaysia (Lembaga Kaunselor Malaysia) to provide the necessary support for school counsellors to understand the working ethics of a counsellor to provide quality service.
Change starts with a shift in thinking as well as educating yourself (and others). #LetsMakeSchoolsASaferPlace
Former advertising mad woman - turned mother to an amazing little girl born 3 months early - and now a returned writer. Also a textbook ambivert with no clue about today's pop music but a walking encyclopedia of music from the 80s and 90s.