MORE secondary school students were expelled in Penang last year compared to 2009. Last year, 830 students were expelled from secondary schools in Penang because of disciplinary issues including truancy, compared to 760 in 2009. Central Seberang Prai district Education Department officer Mohd Zaki Harun, who disclosed this, said 546 secondary school students were involved in criminal misdemeanours in Penang last year. The department also recorded truancy cases involving 391 secondary school students and 275 primary school pupils last year.
The students were either expelled, suspended or issued warnings. “We view this matter seriously and have instructed all school heads to initiate efforts to contain the problem. Truancy is a worrying issue,” he said.
Mohd Zaki said that a holistic approach involving teachers, parents, and the community was needed.
“Teachers must give due attention to problem students by getting them involved in activities that enable them to gain knowledge to stand on their own feet when they leave school,” he said. Among other disciplinary problems were gambling, theft, engaging teachers and prefects in fights, extortion, bullying, involvement with triads, bringing weapons to school, threatening students and outraging of modesty.