Monday, September 8, 2008

Teacher counselled on national unity

KUALA LUMPUR: The teacher who allegedly made racist remarks has been transferred to the Selangor Education Department, holding a new position in which she does not deal with students.

She has also undergone a two-week counselling session on the importance of national unity.

As to whether she would be teaching again, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong was non-committal.

"It depends on the assessment of her counsellors. So far, the reports I've received are good."

She is expected to be transferred out of the state Education Department and Selangor altogether, but Wee refused to divulge her next destination.

"I cannot tell you. Morally, I should not tell you. It's a matter of privacy."

The 35-year-old teacher from SM Telok Panglima Garang in Banting, Klang, was previously sent to a smart school nearer to her house after she allegedly told students in a Form Four class that she "wanted to test their patience" and began using derogatory words on them.

The move to the smart school drew criticism as it was regarded as a "reward".

Pressed to explain the move, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said last month that the transfer was because the school needed a replacement Mathematics teacher.

He had said that he would not tolerate racial abuse in schools but did not want the teacher to be falsely accused.

MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, meanwhile, was satisfied with the action taken by the Education Ministry.

However, he hoped that teachers would be trained on the sensitivities of the communities.

National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Loke Yim Pheng said the union had been receiving letters, emails and phone calls from teachers about the incident.

"They told us they were not happy with the way the case was being handled and the action taken against her. Some had even given their views as to how she should have been dealt with."

But Loke declined to elaborate on their views.

"In school, all teachers should know that they should treat all children equally."

Asked if this was the first time such an incident had occurred, Loke said: "We have had certain problems at times but we try to solve them internally or refer them to the ministry. I think this incident has been blown up in the media."

A psychological counsellor with the Education and Research Association for Consumers, Nanthini Ramalo, said she had come across cases where teachers of a particular race looked down on teachers and students of a different race.

Nanthini, who has been counselling teachers over the last three years, said when they sought her advice on how to cope with such situations, she told them to focus on work.

"When they complain about teachers of one race abusing students of another race, I tell them to look at all students as one.

"After all, why should you feel bad when only students of your race are victimised? It should not matter what race the student is. What matters is that a student has been victimised.

"Teachers should think of themselves as teachers first, and not as a Malay, Chinese or Indian. Problems start when they see themselves according to race."


Anonymous said...

Who are you to comment on this?
Who are you to receive report?
Are you a minister?



I am not sure to whom you are addressing.

this a news report from the star.