Pupils asked to eat in changing room

Pupils asked to eat in changing room

No parent wants to see their child eat in a changing room instead of a canteen. It can be frustrating when puzzling incidents occur without being communicated. What can parents do to avoid these unpleasant incidents from occurring?

changing room

Pictures of primary school pupils having recess time in a changing room, have gone viral on Facebook, sprouting speculative articles all over the Internet.

 RELATED : Teach your child to deal with teachers

The photos were posted up on Monday, 22nd July by Guneswari Kelly, an unmistakably upset parent of a pupil from Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Pristana in Sungei Buloh.

These photos garnered almost 4000 shares and over 800 ‘likes’ in 2 days, attracting negative comments as well as an outpour of concern for the affected pupils. Angry netizens demanded that the government step in and investigate the matter.

changing room

Netizens are questioning why the non-fasting pupils were made to spend their breaks in a changing room. The concern leaned towards the pupils for having to eat in an unhygienic environment, being so close to a female toilet. There is also the nagging question as to why the canteen was cordoned off when there are no signs of renovation.

 RELATED : Letter from a preschool teacher to parents

Deputy Education Minister II P Kamalanathan assured Malaysians that a thorough investigation will take place, “We view the matter with gravity and we will take stern action to ensure it will not recur.”

 changing room

On the other hand, a recent Facebook post from a pupil of Seri Pristana offered an insider reason. She claimed that the changing rooms were not used as changing rooms at all and that the arrangement held the purpose of containing the imbalanced student-area ratio.  This arrangement was made even before fasting month where the muslim children and even the child of a teacher ate there.

The bottom line expressed by netizens however, was that the pupils should not have been allocated changing rooms for recess use. 

The headmaster Mohamad Nasir Mohamad Noor expressed his shock at all the negative response. He explained that the changing rooms were kept clean for they were new and were not just utilised by non-muslim pupils, but everyone.

changing room

Would this social media blow up have happened if the parents were informed of the school’s plan to turn the changing room into an eating/ resting area?

 In which case, parents’ strong disapproval might have encouraged the school to come up with a better solution quickly. Read on to find out how you can prevent unpleasant incidents in schools.

 changing room

Tips and Importance of Parent – Teacher communication : 

1. Look out for your child’s school events and notifications

 Most schools have newsletters in print / online form informing parents of events taking place in school. It is your duty to keep yourself updated.

2. Volunteer to take part in Parent-Teacher Associations

 Such support groups help to facilitate parental participation.  Sure, your free time will now be made up of activities from discussions to chaperoning kids to baking for fundraising events. But you get first-hand experience with the school’s administration and educational direction.

3. Listen to your child

 If your child tells you daily stories about what happened in school (even the mundane parts), make an effort to effectively listen for any suspicious behaviour / incidents. It may just give you the opportunity to investigate any uncomfortable happenings in school for your child’s benefit.

 4. Keep in touch with your child’s teacher

 Make sure you are a dial/text away from your child’s teacher so that you can enquire on important matters. Forming trusting relationships with teachers can reduce feelings on anxiety on your part. Make sure not to go overboard with contacting them though. Respect their privacy.

 Let’s aim for better relationships between parents and teachers!   

References :

Guneswari Kelly Original FB status and photos

Headmaster Mohamad Nasir Mohamad Noor's explanation

Students shown eating in shower rooms

9 reasons to communicate frequently with parents

Principal's explanation regarding changing room issue



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Nisa Abdul

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