SEBERANG PERAI, Sept 22 — The Education Ministry today launched two guidelines to deal with bullying, sexual misconduct and racism in institutions under its jurisdiction.
Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek said a circular on the guidelines will be issued to all schools, Form Six and Matriculation colleges and Institutes of Teacher Education under her ministry.
“The guidelines are important to continue advocacy work against bullying, sexual misconduct and racism in these institutions,” she said during the launch of the guidelines and an anti-bullying programme at SM Sains Tun Syed Shah Shahabudin.
She said the guidelines will also create awareness and support for those facing such issues.
“There will be significant focus on strengthening the support ecosystem in the management of these issues,” she said.
She said it is important for both the students and the community to come together and take up the responsibility to advocate against bullying, sexual misconduct, and racism.
She said the ministry will not compromise on bullying, sexual misconduct, and racism in institutions under its jurisdiction.
“The main thrust for the launch of these guidelines is to protect the human dignity against these transgressions in educational institutions,” she said.
She also assured whistleblowers that they will be given protection by the ministry.
“These guidelines will ensure all parties are protected especially whistleblowers to ensure facts of the case are accurately reported,” she said.
However, Fadhlina said cases of bullying, sexual misconduct and racism in educational institutions are under control.
“We have a work process that is efficient in handling such issues but if there is any dissatisfaction with how the cases are handled, there is a Muafakat Committee which will step in to investigate and if there is still dissatisfaction with the resolution of the cases, there is still legal recourse,” she said.
She said there will also be intervention programmes recommended under the guidelines to deal with bullying, sexual misconduct, and racism.
Among the other measures recommended under the guidelines included anti-bullying awareness programmes, camps and activities for schools and students.
The anti-bullying camp she launched at SM Sains Tun Syed Shah Shahabudin in Bukit Mertajam today is the first of such programmes under the guidelines.
She said more similar programmes and camps will then be rolled out nationwide including multiracial and multi-religious programmes to deal with racism.