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I used savings to pay for English tuition classes: Witness
Published on: Tuesday, December 05, 2023
By: Cynthia D Baga
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I used savings to pay for English tuition classes: Witness
The trial will continue on Jan 25-26 and it will be done via Zoom as Ibrahim would be in United States.
Kota Kinabalu: A witness said he used his own savings to pay for English tuition classes for students.

Ibrahim Jadoon, from United States, who was involved in the FullBright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) programme, said he did what he could to help the students even though he had already returned to his hometown.

According to Ibrahim, he used his own money that he saved during university days where he worked two jobs while studying for his degree.

“It took me some time but I found a tuition centre in Pekan Kota Belud.  

“It was roughly RM130 per month for two days of tuition but only for June, July, August and September,” he said, adding that about 10 to 15 students from 5PD attended the English tuition in 2016.

“When I see that the students were abandoned, I feel hurt and I don’t want them to lose their hope,” he said.

Ibrahim was testifing before High Court Judge Datuk Ismail Brahim during the hearing of the suit filed by Siti Nafirah Siman, 23, against English teacher Mohd Jainal Jamrin (JJ), the first defendant, for allegedly failing to teach English subject to students eight years ago in SMK Tau Gusi.

Other defendants in the suit were SMK Taun Gusi Principal Suid Hanapi, SMK Taun Gusi, Kota Belud District Education Officer, Sabah Education Director, Director General of Education, Minister of Education and Federal Government, who were named as second, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth defendant.

The plaintiff is seeking, among others, a declaration that the eight defendants breached their statutory duty under the Education Act by failing to ensure that she was taught the English language from Feb to Oct 2015 and prepare her for examinations as prescribed under the Education Act.

Ibrahim further said the students were curious and asked him why he still cared about them when he was already back in the US.

“I remember telling them when I die, God will never ask me what colour my passport was but only he will judge what I did.

“I knew I need to do what was right and I was lucky to have the privilege to have some savings. In some ways, I felt that I failed in 2015 when there was no action taken and again abandoned. In 2016, these young children living in the rural were just trying to get an education,” he said.

To a question, he said  his ETA mentor was the most caring teacher he had known at SMK Taun Gusi.

According to Ibrahim, the female teacher received multiple threats for speaking up about the issue and until now, no whistleblower protection was given to her. He said the teacher had also become the star witness in another similar civil suit.

Ibrahim also expressed his disappointment as Jainal, who is a local and living in Kg Taun Gusi, could have been a good teacher and become a great example for the students but he became a “guru ponteng”.

He further said it was quite embarrassing the matter ended up in a legal battle and involved many parties when the matter could have been settled in April 2015 if action was taken after multiple “guru ponteng” reports were made.

The trial will continue on Jan 25-26 and it will be done via Zoom as Ibrahim would be in United States.

Counsel Shireen Sikayun defended Siti Nafirah while Senior Federal Counsel Jesseca Daimis and Federal Counsel Mohd Fazriel Fardiansyah Abdul Kadir  acted for the defendants.

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