End school interference in PIBGs and reform their Constitutions

By:

Fiqah Roslan

Affiliations:

The Tiada.Guru Campaign

Policy Code:

3f Education

Problem Statement:

Many PIBG Constitutions forbid any dissent against the school's administration, i.e., "G" in PIBG.

“Although PTAs are permitted to introduce curricular and co-curricular activities in schools, there are clauses indicating that they cannot interfere with a school’s administration or use the association as a means to air their dissent over the school’s principal, staff members or even the Education Ministry itself.” [1]

PIBGs today are wholly one-sided affairs, with schools setting agendas, speakers, dates / times, frequency of meetings: it has clearly become a “PG” with no “IB”, with some principals even [openly attacking parents and denying them entry to school meetings [2]. No known MOE action was taken against such disturbing misconduct.

Why are Malaysia’s parent-teacher associations banned from advocating for their children’s well-being if it involves the school administration? Why are we preventing transparency and accountability on a local level? A school’s administration is a key factor to their children's’ well-being, from schedule arrangements, course load, and then of course negligence and abuse.

Why are we totally disarming parents and teachers from whistleblowing to the larger community? We need united parents to confront a united Federal Government: otherwise, when parents plead one by one, the power imbalance is too strong. Many parents have been intimidated, threatened, and/or have withdrawn their complaints [3, 4].

Citation Reference
[1] A partnership of parents and teachers (The Star)
[2] Distraught Orang Asli parents barred from school meeting (FMT)
[3] Cikgu Azizan case: Student's dad ditches planned press conference (NST)
[4] Ethics in Education (Tiada.Guru)

Value(s) and Belief(s):

"Nobody in history has gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people oppressing them." (Assata Shakur).

While PIBGs are “administered” locally, they are heavily repressed by school officers.

We must return local agency and power; many parents are ready to fight for justice. Imagine if parents could schedule PIBG meetings with school representatives and air their concerns directly before problems became egregious.

Proposal of Solution:

While PIBGs do have locally administered AGMs composed of teachers, parents, and school administrators, it is not enough.

We must establish, through reform of the Education (Parent-Teacher Associations) Regulations 1998 and Education Act 1996, that

1. PIBG Constitutions cannot forbid dissent or discussions by parents nor teachers on any topics regarding the school, its administrators, or any misconduct, claimed or otherwise.
2. School administrators cannot have any power to remove parents nor discipline teachers that speak up about the above issues.
3. PIBGs should be allowed to work together with other PIBGs to discuss issues and organize together for community actions.
4. PIBGs must create publicly and online-accessible minutes that any parent may view and/or respond to.
5. PIBGs must create a set of efficient guidelines to ensure parents can speak as needed. Today, hours are wasted as school officers give long remarks that simply should be sent to a PIBG messaging group (i.e., WhatsApp); likewise meetings must be arranged at a time voted on by the parents of the communities, not purely on the school’s convenience.
6. PIBGs should be able to be summoned by parents for specific critical issues with adequate notice (e.g., two weeks); a school representative with decision-making authority (i.e., only the school principal) must attend.

With these substantive changes, we hope to significantly improve the attendance (online or virtual) of PIBGs. There is no reason that working families should be shut out of the community, transparent administration, and fair discussion that PIBGs were initially designed for.

Additional Information:

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Translation

Isu dan Polisi Semasa:

Banyak Perlembagaan PIBG melarang perbezaan pendapat terhadap pentadbiran sekolah, iaitu "G" dalam PIBG.

“Walaupun PTA dibenarkan untuk memperkenalkan kegiatan kurikulum dan kokurikulum di sekolah, ada klausa yang menunjukkan bahawa mereka tidak boleh campur tangan dengan pentadbiran sekolah atau menggunakan persatuan sebagai cara untuk menyuarakan perbezaan pendapat mereka terhadap pengetua sekolah, anggota staf, bahkan Kementerian Pendidikan sendiri.” [1]

PIBG hari ini adalah urusan sebelah pihak sama sekali, dengan sekolah menetapkan agenda, penceramah, tarikh / waktu, kekerapan perjumpaan: ini jelas telah menjadi “PG” tanpa “IB”, dengan sesetengah pengetua bahkan secara terbuka menyerang ibu bapa dan menghalang kemasukan mereka ke mesyuarat sekolah [2]. Tiada tindakan MOE yang diketahui diambil terhadap salah laku yang membimbangkan seperti itu.

Mengapakah persatuan ibu bapa-guru Malaysia dilarang memperjuangkan kesejahteraan anak-anak mereka sekiranya melibatkan pentadbiran sekolah? Mengapa kita menghalang ketelusan dan akauntabiliti pada peringkat tempatan? Pentadbiran sekolah merupakan faktor utama kepada kesejahteraan anak-anak mereka, daripada pengaturan jadual, beban kerja rumah dan sudah tentu kecuaian dan penderaan.

Mengapa kita melucutkan sepenuhnya hak ibu bapa dan guru daripada memberi maklumat kepada serata masyarakat? Kita memerlukan ibu bapa yang bersatu untuk berdepan Kerajaan Persekutuan yang bersatu: jika tidak, apabila ibu bapa merayu seorang demi seorang, ketidakseimbangan kuasa ini adalah terlalu kuat. Ramai ibu bapa telah ditakut-takutkan, diugut dan / atau telah menarik balik aduan mereka [3, 4].

Rujukan Petikan
[1] A partnership of parents and teachers (The Star)
[2] Distraught Orang Asli parents barred from school meeting (FMT)
[3] Cikgu Azizan case: Student's dad ditches planned press conference (NST)
[4] Ethics in Education (Tiada.Guru)

Nilai-nilai dan Kepercayaan:

"Tiada sesiapa dalam sejarah pernah memperoleh kebebasan mereka dengan meluahkan ketidakadilan moral orang yang menindas mereka." (Assata Shakur).

Walaupun PIBG “ditadbir” di sekolah, ia amat dibataskan oleh pegawai sekolah.

Kita mesti mengembalikan agensi dan kuasa tempatan; ramai ibu bapa bersedia untuk memperjuangkan keadilan. Bayangkan jika ibu bapa dapat menjadualkan perjumpaan PIBG dengan wakil sekolah dan menyuarakan masalah mereka secara berdepan sebelum masalah menjadi teruk.

Penyelesaian:

Walaupun PIBG menjalankan AGM tempatan yang terdiri daripada guru, ibu bapa dan pentadbir sekolah, itu tidak mencukupi.

Kita mesti menetapkan, melalui pembaharuan Peraturan-Peraturan Pendidikan (Persatuan Ibu Bapa-Guru) 1998 dan Akta Pendidikan 1996, bahawa

1. Perlembagaan PIBG tidak boleh melarang perbezaan pendapat atau perbincangan oleh ibu bapa mahupun guru mengenai sebarang topik mengenai sekolah, pentadbirnya, atau mana-mana salah laku, dakwaan atau sebaliknya.
2. Pentadbir sekolah tidak mempunyai kuasa untuk membuang ibu bapa mahupun mendisiplinkan guru yang menyuarakan masalah di atas.
3. PIBG harus dibenarkan bekerjasama dengan PIBG lain untuk membincangkan masalah dan mengatur bersama untuk mengambil tindakan masyarakat.
4. PIBG mesti mengambil minit yang boleh diakses secara terbuka dan dalam talian yang boleh dilihat dan/atau dibalas oleh mana-mana ibu bapa.
5. PIBG mesti mewujudkan satu garis panduan yang cekap untuk memastikan ibu bapa dapat bersuara mengikut keperluan. Hari ini, banyak waktu disia-siakan kerana pegawai sekolah memberikan ucapan panjang yang sepatutnya dihantar kepada kumpulan mesej PIBG (iaitu WhatsApp); begitu juga, perjumpaan mesti diatur pada waktu yang dipilih oleh ibu bapa komuniti, bukan semata-mata mengikut kemudahan sekolah.
6. PIBG harus dapat dipanggil oleh ibu bapa untuk masalah kritikal tertentu dengan notis yang munasabah (cth., dua minggu); seorang wakil sekolah yang mempunyai kuasa membuat keputusan (iaitu, pengetua sekolah sahaja) perlu hadir.

Dengan perubahan besar ini, kami berharap dapat meningkatkan kehadiran PIBG (dalam talian atau maya) dengan ketara. Tiada alasan bahawa keluarga yang bekerja harus diketepikan daripada komuniti, pentadbiran telus dan perbincangan adil yang awalnya dirancang untuk PIBG.

Informasi Tambahan: