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Suhakam Children’s Commissioner Professor Datuk Noor Aziah Mohd Awal said that teachers must recognise they are role models whose actions have an impact on the lives of the students under their care. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Suhakam Children’s Commissioner Professor Datuk Noor Aziah Mohd Awal said that teachers must recognise they are role models whose actions have an impact on the lives of the students under their care. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is urging Education Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin to take firm action against teachers who sexually harass female students.

In a statement, its Children’s Commissioner (CC) Professor Datuk Noor Aziah Mohd Awal said that teachers must recognise they are role models whose actions have an impact on the lives of the students under their care.

“Children’s Commissioner (CC) of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is concerned with recent reports of poor conduct of some teachers, tinting the image of this noble profession.

“These included teachers’ sexually harassing a student activist on social media by using foul language and body shaming her, and the toxic culture of teachers covering up for one another when a complaint arises,” she said.

Aziah added that schools must be a safe place for children, adding that more measures should be instituted so that children will enjoy their time learning in a wholesome environment.

“Teachers play an important role in realising the vision of the Education Act 1996 that aims to  develop the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner so as to produce  individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and  harmonious, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God.

“The Children’s Commissioner reiterates that the function of schools, the training of teachers and the education system should be reviewed so that vision of the Education Act, as well the principles of the CRC will be achieved,” she said.

Recently, 17-year-old student Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam took to TikTok and Twitter to describe the inappropriate remarks that were allegedly made by a teacher during a discussion on sexual harassment in a physical and health education class at her school in Kuala Selangor.

The teacher in question reportedly made the incriminating statement that “if you were to commit a rape, you must make sure that the person you rape is over 18”.

The teacher is also said to have made another questionable comment that “if boys get raped, it doesn’t get reported because apparently boys would feel ‘good’ about it”.


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