Education, Home Ministries launch channels for students and parents to report bullying in schools

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 18 - The Education Ministry and Ministry of Home Affairs' initiative called Sekolahku Sejahtera: Sepakat dan Selamat and anti-bullying portal to look into the prevalence of bullying was launched here today at the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Putrajaya Presint 14(1).

At the launch, Education Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said that the portal will also involve the police and the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) to deal with disciplinary issues and identify students who are prone to get involved with drugs.

"The most important thing here today is to ensure that the schools become a safe space and free from bullying. To do that, we have to work together.

"It has to extend beyond the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Home Affairs, the police and the AADK. Society, community leaders and parents have to be involved in order to help students feel that they are safe in school," Radzi said.

Commenting further, he said that there are three ways that complaints of bullying can be filed: through a special 24-hour hotline for bullying victims, email, or the existing complaint channel provided by the education ministry.

Radzi said complainants can stay anonymous, but the channels will ask for necessary information such as the name of the school to aid in police investigations.

Each complaint will also be recorded and goes through a ticketing system so that no complaint will be overlooked. This is to ensure they have records of what cases have been solved, he said.

Education Minister Datuk Radzi Jidin (left) and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (right) speak to the press after the launching of Sekolahku Sejahtera, Sepakat dan Selama initiative, August 18, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Education Minister Datuk Radzi Jidin (left) and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (right) speak to the press after the launching of Sekolahku Sejahtera, Sepakat dan Selama initiative, August 18, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

Education Minister Datuk Radzi Jidin (left) and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (right) speak to the press after the launching of Sekolahku Sejahtera, Sepakat dan Selama initiative, August 18, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

When asked by reporters how victims living in areas with poor connectivity can overcome the network barrier, Hamzah said that victims are not living in a bubble and could get help from friends and family to file a report.

"If the victim can't file the complaint themselves, they can get their friends and family involved. It doesn't matter if it's online or offline, what's most important is that the report can reach the relevant authorities," said.

Students like Nur Hazimah Habib Hafiz said she is proud that even though the issue of bullying is not rampant in her school, a programme like this can be great for education and prevention.

"I believe that many victims of bullying wouldn't find it scary to file a complaint against their bully because their identity won't be exposed. I think it will help a lot with tackling bullying," the 17-year-old head of student said.

Suriyani Ab Ghani, the principal at the Sekolah Seni Malaysia Kuala Lumpur said she found that the programme and the portal would be beneficial to school children all over the nation.

"Thankfully there's been no reported cases of bullying in my school, but with this portal I hope our students will learn that bullying isn't just physical but it is also through the spoken word," Suriyani said.

According to Radzi, this year alone recorded a total of 120 cases of bullying throughout the country. He said that 51 were reported in 2021, 122 in 2020, 244 in 2019 and 264 in 2018.

Last week, Radzi said that a portal would be set up to ramp up anti-bullying efforts in schools, in relation to queries from the press over students who were allegedly bullied at the Mara Junior Science College in Kuantan.