Malaysian student sues former English teacher who 'skipped class' for 8 months

Malaysian student sues former English teacher who 'skipped class' for 8 months
(From left) Legal aide Jubili Anilik, Siti Nafirah and her lawyer Rozana Jamaludin.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - A former secondary school student in Sabah has filed a suit against her former English language teacher for not teaching her class for about eight months.

Nafirah Siman, who has since turned 18, sued teacher Jainal Jamran for not turning up to teach English classes at SMK Taun Gasi, in Kota Belud, Sabah in 2015, back when she was in Form 4.

Malaysiakini reported that the suit was filed through law firm Roxana & Co on Oct 16. The suit also named the school's headmaster Suid Hanapi and SMK Taun Gusi, the Kota Belud district education officer, the Sabah education director-general, the Education Ministry and the government as defendants.

The news portal noted that the case has been fixed for mention on Nov 19.

In the suit sighted by Malaysiakini, Nafirah said that Jainal had failed to turn up to teach the subject between February 2015 and October 2015, except for one week when officials from the Education Ministry and state Education Department visited the school.

Malaysiakini reported that despite multiple complaints received - including from a Fullbright senior English teacher assistant grantee seconded to the school and the school's English Department's head - the authorities, namely the Education Ministry, the state Education Department and the headmaster, had failed to act.

Narifah claimed Suid had tried to cover-up the teacher's absenteeism by asking him to "fabricate" his attendance to show that he was absent for only two months.

Malaysiakini noted that Sabahan is seeking a declaration that the defendants are in breach of their statutory duty under the Education Act by failing to ensure that she was taught the subject during the period of absenteeism, and that this violated her constitutional right for access to education.

She also wants a declaration that there was a breach in duty and misfeasance in public office. Narifah is also seeking exemplary, general and aggravated damages, including costs.

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