Education Ministry meets parents of students in slapping incident

SHAH ALAM: The Education Ministry has met the parents of two players in the Melaka Under-14 girls volleyball squad who were slapped by their coach to get their feedback on the matter.

“We (the ministry) will not tolerate violence, especially against our students,” Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek (pic) said.

“We are concerned by this issue, and our priority is the safety and well-being of the students,” she told reporters after observing the opening of the third session of school for the year 2022-2023 at SMK Jalan Kebun here on Tuesday (Jan 3).

ALSO READ: Volleyball coach in slapping incident apologises

She said the feedback from the parents and other stakeholders will be considered in the course of the investigation, especially on matters related to integrity and discipline.

Fadhlina said the ministry, through the Melaka Education Department, had also conducted counselling sessions for the two girls.

On whether or not the ministry intended to lodge a police report on the matter, Fadhlina said it would conduct its internal investigation first.

“We are investigating; we don’t have to wait for a police report. We can investigate because we have an Integrity Unit,” she said.

ALSO READ: Probe volleyball players’ slapping

A video showing the coach of a volleyball team slapping two of his teen players went viral on social media recently. The incident is believed to have taken place during the 2022 Malaysia Youth U-14 Volleyball Championship in Kota Tinggi, Johor, which was held from Dec 14 to 16.

On a separate matter, Fadhlina said the ministry was looking into adding government preschools and kindergartens in urban areas, as existing facilities are said to be unable to meet current needs.

She said that she had discussed it with the ministry’s secretary-general and Education director-general and saw that there was a need for an increase.

Commenting on standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the prevention of Covid-19 in schools following the detection of two major variants from China in Malaysia, Fadhlina said the ministry would refer to and comply with the latest instructions from the Health Ministry.

She also told reporters that schools had discretion in allowing their students not to wear neckties as the matter was under each individual institution’s purview.

She was asked about students not having to wear neckties following reports that the Dewan Rakyat was now relaxing the requirement. – Bernama