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MOE Allegedly Sends Out Circular Disallowing Period Spot Checks At Its Edu Institutions

The circular is dated 2 November. However, there has been no official confirmation about it yet.

Cover image via Syahrin Abdul Aziz/MalaysiaNow

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All state education departments and district education offices have been allegedly told to stop period spot checks in schools, according to a Ministry of Education (MOE) circular that is being shared online

The circular states that the MOE has found that menstruation-related physical inspections among female students have occurred in educational institutions under the ministry and that it takes this matter seriously.

"The MOE emphasises that such a matter should not happen in any educational institution under the MOE," reads the circular that was first posted in a Facebook group and later shared on Twitter.

It then instructs all state education departments and district education offices to ensure that menstruation-related physical inspection practices do not occur in any educational institution under the MOE.

The circular also warned that the occurrence of period spot checks in educational institutions under the MOE will result in strict actions

According to the alleged circular, everyone involved must ensure that these instructions are communicated and complied with immediately by all educational institutions.

The circular is dated 2 November. However, there has been no official confirmation about it.

Screenshot of the circular being shard online.

Image via @dckahc (Twitter)

Prior to this on 26 October, Education Minister Radzi Jidin had visited a vocational college in Kuala Lumpur after allegations that period spot checks were being conducted at the institution

The allegation came to light when women's rights advocate and gender equality researcher at ISIS Malaysia, Tashny Sukumaran, posted on Twitter that a student studying at ERT Vocational College in Setapak reached out to her about the incident.

The student alleged that she and about 30 other young women aged 18 and 19 were rounded up and given cotton buds to prove they were on their periods at 7.50pm, 18 October.

The student told the former journalist that the college has been carrying out the practice for a long time.

"According to her, these period checks had stopped for awhile after the furor earlier this year, but began again just because someone performed their prayers alone instead of with others at the hostel surau," Tashny tweeted.

She added that the students tried to push back against the instructions given but were ignored.

"If you feel uncomfortable about it, then perform your prayers," they were allegedly told, implying the students were using menstruation as an excuse to escape congregational prayers.

In her Twitter thread posted at 2pm on Tuesday, 26 October, Tashny urged Radzi and MOE to urgently look into the matter. Following which, Radzi's communications team said the minister himself will visit the college.

If you or someone you know may be at risk or has experienced sexual abuse or assault, please reach out to these Malaysian organisations:

1. WOMEN'S AID ORGANISATION (WAO)
Operating hours: 24-hour
Contact: +603-30008858
SMS/WhatsApp: +6018-9888058
Website | Facebook | Twitter

2. ALL WOMEN'S ACTION SOCIETY (AWAM)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday (9.30am - 5.30pm)
Contact: +603-78770224
WhatsApp/Telegram: +6016-2284221 | +6016-2374221
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

3. WOMEN'S CENTRE FOR CHANGE PENANG (WCC PENANG)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday (9am - 5pm)
Contact: +604-2280342 | +604-3988340
WhatsApp: +6011-31084001 | +6016-4180342
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

4. SARAWAK WOMEN FOR WOMEN SOCIETY (SWWS)
Operating hours: Monday (7pm - 9pm),Tuesday to Thursday (9.30am - 11.30am), Saturday (2pm - 4pm)
Contact: +6082-368853
SMS/WhatsApp: +6016-5822660 | +6013-8044285
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

5. SABAH WOMEN'S ACTION-RESOURCE GROUP (SAWO)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday (9am - 5pm)
Contact: +6088-280200 | +6011-27908020
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

6. PROTECT AND SAVE THE CHILDREN (PS THE CHILDREN)
Operating hours: Monday to Friday (3pm - 12am)
WhatsApp: +6016-7213065
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

7. INTERNET WATCH FOUNDATION (IWF)
Anonymously and confidentially report child sexual abuse content and non-photographic child sexual abuse images with IWF's Reporting Portal.

In April, hundreds of Malaysians came out on Twitter with stories of sexual harassment and abuse they had to endure in school:

The revelation led to MOE and relevant ministries promising to launch internal investigations into local colleges and dorms: