Education minister says committed to ending ‘period spot checks’ after alleged incident at college

·2-min read
Senior Minister of Education Datuk Radzi Jidin speaks during a press conference after a visit to SK Haji Nyak Gam in Yan September 4, 2021. ― Bernama pic
Senior Minister of Education Datuk Radzi Jidin speaks during a press conference after a visit to SK Haji Nyak Gam in Yan September 4, 2021. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — Education Minister Datuk Radzi Jidin has paid a visit to the college that allegedly conducted “period spot checks” on its students.

He said he wanted to find out from the students firsthand what transpired and get an explanation from the school's administrators as well.

“I came here tonight to listen to and get some feedback from the students. Apart from that, we wanted to get the principal and the teachers’ explanations on this matter.

“I take this matter very seriously and am committed to end such practices in any of the ministries’ institutions if it is happening,” he said in a series of tweets.

Radzi was accompanied by the Ministry of Education (MoE) secretary-general Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad and Malaysian director-general of Education Datin Seri Nor Zamani Abdol Hamid.

It was revealed yesterday that educators at Kolej Vokasional Setapak had conducted spot checks on 30 girls aged 18 to 19 who were asked to prove they were menstruating with a cotton bud swab.

Former journalist Tashny Sukumaran tweeted that she received a tip that the incident in question happened on October 18 around 7.50pm.

According to the whistleblower, ‘period checks' had stopped for a while after the furore earlier this year but began again after someone performed their prayers alone instead of with others at the hostel surau.

The girls were then told to gather and hand over the cotton bud swabs to prove they had their period.

Earlier this year, reports that schools were conducting the same spot checks on girls arose and MPs in Parliament questioned Radzi, adding that it was a violation of the girls’ rights.

The report caused an uproar online with multiple politicians from both sides of the divide calling for an investigation and an end to the practice.

Radzi said he had a list of schools that allegedly carry out period spot checks.

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