Clear Directives Needed to End Period Spot Checks

This statement is in response to the circular issued by the Education Ministry emphasising that the practice of period spot checks is prohibited as featured in Malaysiakini’s article published on 8 November 2021: (Headline: Education Ministry orders end to period spot checks Рsource)

Sisters in Islam (SIS) SIS recognises and welcomes the circular issued by the MoE directing the prohibition of physical check-ups, particularly period spot checks. The circular, which was dated 2 November 2021, emphasises that these physical check-ups should not happen at any education institutions under the Ministry of Education (MoE).

The circular also mentioned that the Department of State Education and the District Education Office must be aware and to conduct continuous monitoring to ensure that period spot checks will not happen anymore. Serious actions will be taken towards education institutions under the Ministry of Education (MoE) who conduct period spot checks.

While the circular shows progress in ending period spot checks, however, there are a few details that are unclear. For example, does the circular include private education institutions and education institutions under State governments and other governmental bodies such as religious schools and tahfiz schools? What are the guidelines if period spot checks are still conducted in education institutions? Are the students able to report to the school, principal or report straight to the police? What kinds of actions or punishments will be taken towards the individual/individuals who conduct period spot checks? Will counselling be provided for students who have undergone period spot checks?

Period spot checks are vile, disgusting and repulsive and it has no place anywhere, especially in schools and institutions of learning. It is a form of sexual harassment and physical assault and it must be stopped immediately. Without more specific and detailed measures, it remains to be seen whether the circular is sufficient to end this practice, especially in institutions that are not under the MoE.

Schools and other education institutions must provide a safe place for their students. We also urge other education institutions that are not under the Ministry of Education (MoE) to issue the necessary directives and implement the required measures to ensure that our students are free from such violations.