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Refusal to teach English to students in SMK Taun Gusi: Witness admits mistake in ‘clearing’ teacher
Published on: Thursday, August 17, 2023
By: Cynthia D Baga
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Refusal to teach English to students in SMK Taun Gusi: Witness admits mistake in ‘clearing’ teacher
Mohd Jainal was already found by court to have been negligent in discharging his duties in another case brought by several students.
Kota Kinabalu: A former Ketua Bidang Bahasa of SMK Taun Gusi admitted signing the Buku Rekod Mengajar (teaching report book) from February to August 2015 submitted by a teacher who refused to teach English by mistake.

Norhana Ijek, now the Kota Belud Education Deputy Director, said the teacher Mohd Jainal Jamrin or JJ did not hand in his Buku Rekod Mengajar from February to August.

“He submitted the Buku Rekod Mengajar (sometime later when there was monitoring) and I mistakenly signed it.

“In 2018, when the suit by a former student) was filed, I realised my mistake and wanted to correct it because I didn’t want to cheat.

“I the reported to Sabah State Education Department (JPN) that my signature every week was a mistake.”

She said an official from the department suggested I cancel the signature on each of those weeks and replace it with a signature dated in August,” said Norhana.

Norhana was testifying before High Court Judge Datuk Ismail Brahim in the hearing of the civil suit filed by Siti Nafirah Siman, 23, against Mohd Jainal, SMK Taun Gusi Principal Suid Hj Hanapi (in his capacity as Principal of SMK Taun Gusi), SMK Taun Gusi, Kota Belud District Education Officer, Sabah Education Director, Director General of Education Malaysia, Minister of Education Malaysia and Government of Malaysia, as the first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eight defendants.

The plaintiff is seeking, among others, a declaration that eight defendants were in breach of their statutory duty under the Education Act by failing to ensure she was taught the English subject from February to Oct 2015 to prepare her for examinations as prescribed under the Education Act.

She is also seeking a declaration that the defendants are in breach of their duty under Regulation 3C, 25, 26 Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1913; a declaration that the Act complained of by the first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eight defendants amounted to misfeasance in public office.

She is also seeking a declaration that the defendants have violated her constitutional right to access to education guaranteed to her under Article 5 read together with Article 12 of the Federal Constitution, damages, costs and any further and other relief which the court may deem fit to grant.

Mohd Jainal was already found by court to have been negligent in discharging his duties in another case brought by several students.

Norhana said when she moved to the school in 2012, there were a lot of internal issues in Panatia Bahasa Inggeris.

“In 2013 and 2014, I taught two sessions which were in the morning and afternoon because there was no teacher willing to do so and the Ketua Panatia Bahasa Inggeris one Cikgu Nurhaizah had complained to me that English teachers did not give commitment.

“In 2015, I was forced to teach fully in the afternoon session and was also involved in the ETA programme for two years.

“I offered to teach in the ETA programme because no English teacher was willing and almost all the Bahasa Inggeris activities were done and conducted by me and Cikgu Nurhaizah only.

“I think it was the duty of the Principal and Administrative Senior Assistant to monitor the presence of teachers in the classroom. But, since I was at that school, there was never any monitoring by the administrator.

“In 2015, I suffered depression and often got sick as well as crying because of the pressure to handle English teachers.

“This is among factors that caused my weakness in carrying out my duties because I feel that I am no longer able to take action. 

“Moreover, the Principal never supported or gave any solution and left it completely to me and Cikgu Nurhaizah,” she said.

She said she went to Siti Nafirah’s house the day the civil suit was reported in the newspaper but was unable to meet her.

According to Norhana, she was asked to discuss with Siti Nafirah to resolve the case outside the court but not to scare her.

She was brought to Siti Nafirah’s house by the school clerk who had communicated with the Sabah JPN Director.

She informed the court that her mother also visited Siti Nafirah without her knowledge.

Norhana further testified that Jj’s absenteeism was an open secret in SMK Taun Gusi and it was reported to the principal, following complaints by the students.

“As Ketua Bidang Bahasa, I discussed with Cikgu Nurhaizah to make an official report to principal and I myself verified the report.

“I don’t remember when the report was sent... maybe around July,” she said.

Another witness Cikgu Awang Erawan said he knew about Jj’s failure to attend classes.

Senior Federal Counsel Mohd Hafizi Abd Halim and Federal Counsel Mohd Fazriel Fardiansyah Abdul Kadir acted for the defendants.

Trial continues.

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