Sexual harassment a serious problem for teachers

National 1 minute, 57 seconds


SEXUAL harassment is still prevalent among secondary school teachers in Brunei-Muara district, a study conducted by two Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) students revealed yesterday.

The study, which began in February, involved 60 respondents. They were categorised into five types of sexual harassments.

The study also revealed that verbal sexual harassment is the most prevalent category followed by visual, physical, psychological and signals.

Masters of Education students, Dk Nur Hayana Pg Hj Abd Razak and Siti Hanim Naim, revealed their findings during their presention entitled “Problems of sexual harassment among secondary school teachers in the Brunei-Muara district” at the second day of the International Conference on Education 2015 at UBD yesterday.

Speaking with The Brunei Times, Dk Nur Hayana and Siti Hanim said that based on their findings, they found sexual harassment felt by teachers from their peers was at a "low rate" but sexual harassment must not be underestimated as it may affect a teacher’s credibility.

“I do not think we, as a society, should rest on our laurels because there might be some respondents who are playing down these harassments and, understandably, are still reluctant to express the true extent of the harassments they experienced,” Siti Hanim said.

“Another fear is when some teachers have come to perceive these harassments as norms thinking that it is normal and not a major concern,” she added.

In a bid to eradicate these harassments, the two students suggested the teachings of Islam to be further inculcated amongst the secondary school teachers.

“Every man and woman should practice menutup aurat (safeguarding their modesty) and avoid committing actions that erode morale values and arouse lust. If they can adopt the teachings of Islam in their daily practices then these incidents may be avoided,” she said.

“And these teachings are not limited to Muslim teachers. Regardless of one’s religion - nobody wants to be sexually harassed. Hence non-Muslims, if they like to, can adopt certain aspects of Islam that may protect them from being sexually harassed.”

The students believed that teachers need moral and social support from responsible parties such as the media, authorities and the victims.

"Even if a teacher requests to not file a report, it has to be handled immediately because teaching is a noble profession and it may affect their psychology and could even affect their students,” said Siti Hanim.

The Brunei Times