Archive for the ‘Educational Issues’ Category

School milk programme to continue, says Education Ministry

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018
The ministry, in a statement on Wednesday, said the programme will however be fine-tuned to ensure that it reaches its objectives by tackling all weaknesses including its acquisition process. NSTP File pic

PUTRAJAYA: The milk programme in schools will be continued as it has already been allocated for in the 2019 Budget, says the Education Ministry.

The ministry, in a statement on Wednesday, said the programme will however be fine-tuned to ensure that it reaches its objectives by tackling all weaknesses including its acquisition process.

“The ministry admits there were leakages and weaknesses in the execution of the school milk programme under the previous administration.

“Thus, the ministry will undertake efforts to investigate and single out the weaknesses as well as those responsible. Investigations will be carried out so that similar issues will not recur,” said the ministry in a statement on Wednesday.

The ministry also gave its assurance that all previous weaknesses would be resolved as soon as possible. It said the implementation of the school milk programme would be done in a more transparent manner in line with the new government’s policies that stresses on the aspects of accountability and integrity.

Based on the Education Ministry’s website, the school milk programme aims to meet several objectives including encouraging the milk drinking habit among primary school pupils under the paid milk scheme, as well as supplying milk to underprivileged and undernourished pupils via the free milk scheme.

On Tuesday, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik had said that the government would be reviewing the implementation of the 1Malaysia Milk Programme before deciding on whether it would proceed with the programme next year.

The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) had recently queried on the status of the programme, saying that milk have not been distributed in schools since January despite already being allocated for in the 2018 Budget.

By Azura Abas.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/431081/school-milk-programme-continue-says-education-ministry

MACC exposes sex for grades cases

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

PUTRAJAYA: There have been instances of teachers asking students for sex in exchange for good examination scores.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, who revealed this, warned that such cases are dangerous for the country’s future generation.

He said there have also been instances where students tried to “bribe” their schoolmates to win votes so they can be elected as class monitor or school prefect.

“If these sort of corrupt acts have already occurred in schools, it will be worse when the students become adults and future leaders.

Mohd Shukri did not provide details on the sex-for-grade cases, which the MACC has unearthed.

He said corruption should be made a subject in schools to educate children about the dangers of graft.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik, who delivered the closing speech at the forum, encouraged students whose teachers had asked them for sex in return for good grades to file police reports.

“Don’t hide it. We cannot take action if we are not aware of it.

“We want to make sure schools are a safe and happy place for all children and teachers,” Dr Maszlee said.

“Let the young people be conditioned into disliking corruption early in their lives because the level of corruption in the country at the moment is too worrying,” said Mohd Shukri.

Dr Maszlee said schools would roll out anti-graft related education to youngsters through the Civics and Citizenship Education (CCE) subject.

“We won’t have a subject just on corruption.

“Instead, we will incorporate it as a topic in the syllabus of the CCE, which we will reintroduce in all primary and secondary schools mid next year,” he said, adding that MACC has provided the ministry with the proposed anti-graft syllabus.

Dr Maszlee said pre-schoolers would also be exposed to the topic of corruption.

By Joseph Kaos Jr
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/14/macc-exposes-sex-for-grades-cases-chief-commissioner-education-and-awareness-of-rights-needed-to-pro/#JiRVxAsPHDlsKk02.99

Anti-corruption element to be included in Civics subject next year

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018
Education minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the subject would be taught to those in the primary and secondary schools as well as at pre-school level to shape moral values. Pic by NSTP/AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR

PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry will introduce education on anti-corruption into the Civics subject from next year.

Its minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the subject would be taught to those in the primary and secondary schools as well as at pre-school level to shape moral values.

Aside from anti-corruption, other elements which will be added include human rights, road safety and the environment.

“We don’t have a specific subject on anti-corruption, but what we can do is add it as one of the topics in the Civics subject, which we will re-introduce

“Starting next year, we will re-introduce the subject. It will not be a must-pass subject, but it will a compulsory subject,” he said after a national Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Education Ministry forum 2018 here.

Maszlee said this in response to MACC’s proposal to have a compulsory subject on anti-corruption in schools.

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull earlier said efforts must be taken to teach children from young to dislike corruption.

On Shukri’s disclosure that corruption had spread to schools involving students, and teachers asking for sex from students as an inducement to pass examination, Maszlee said he had not received such a report so far.

“We urge those who are involved to lodge a report with the police. Don’t hide it. We will not tolerate such action and action will be taken.

“The victims are protected by law. We want the victims to come forward and lodge reports so that we can ensure schools are a safe place for all students and teachers,” he added.

By Irwan Shafrizan Ismail.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/government-public-policy/2018/11/430723/anti-corruption-element-be-included-civics-subject-next

Libraries must keep up with times

Sunday, November 11th, 2018
The Tun Abdul Razak Library needs more books that appeal to young readers. FILE PIC

FOR a week last month, Libraries Week (Oct 8-13) celebrated the nation’s much-loved libraries. It was a time to remind the public about the contributions libraries, librarians and library workers made to their communities.

As one who uses public libraries, I was dismayed at the way the Tun Razak Library in Ipoh, Perak, is being managed. Suffice to say, it was below expectations.

The library is in the city centre, next to a school and near the magistrate’s court.

The last time I visited the library was 20 years ago. However, when I was there recently, I felt like time had stood still since 1998. It looked the same, with the same coat of paint and the same, ancient rules and regulations.

Let me start with the borrowing rules. I cannot access the online library catalogue from home. If the library aims to be user friendly, one should be able to request and renew books from their website, choose which branch to pick them up from and return the books to any branch, including the mobile library, if there is one.

With advancement in technology, not allowing one to bring charging cables to the library for their electronic devices is unthinkable. In this day and age, almost everyone works from his laptop, iPad or mobile phone. Just imagine how one should do one’s research in a library without the cables. Apparently, this rule applies only at the Tun Razak Library.

If the reason lies in short circuits or faulty sockets, getting them fixed will attract more people to use the library facilities more often. I saw a group of people in the library, who were reading newspapers, and only a handful borrowed books.

Perhaps, the library management can set up a multimedia section, where people can view or borrow CDs or DVDs. This will be beneficial for the public, especially for academicians, teachers, students and children.

Even the Internet connection at the library is slow. The library should consider buying new books as the ones available are outdated.

Authors like Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie do not appeal to young readers of today. Getting feedback from the community on their favourite authors and the type of books they would prefer to read can easily resolve this.

Gone are the days where strict librarians walk around, shooing kids and pointing to the “Keep Quiet” signs. A user-friendly library will be a beneficial meeting point for millennials to work, discuss and spend their time.

When I am in a public library, I feel I am a member of a wider community and society — sharing a public space and service, which I value.

By Zarina Zainudeen.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2018/11/430107/libraries-must-keep-times

RM7.35bil Samurai bond to fund education, transport sectors, not repay national debts, says Kadir.

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

PETALING JAYA: The RM7.35bil Samurai bond issuance, which the Japanese government has offered to guarantee, is not intended to repay Malaysia’s existing debts, says Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.

The Prime Minister’s media adviser said the money raised will be used to fund the education and transportation sector and visit exchanges between Japan and Malaysia.

He said if there is confidence in the government owing to its excellent economic achievement records and sound administration, this will enable it to secure loans domestically and from abroad.

Instead, if a country had a poor track record or if the government had ulterior motives in taking up loans such as seen in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, then it would be harder to secure loans domestically and internationally.

“If under the old government we secured huge debts in dubious ways especially from China, now we managed to get a special loan with a low-interest rate,” he wrote in his capacity as National Journalist Laureate in his column in Sinar Harian published on Sunday (Nov 11).

He said that the government may borrow domestically or from abroad at a lower interest rate to repay the debts left by the previous administration.

“Considering the financial situation of the government that is ridden with debt and liabilities of more than RM1tril, restructuring of loans is one of the challenging duties in the financial and economic administration in the next coming years,” he wrote.

In June, Malaysia asked for a yen loan during Dr Mahathir’s first meeting with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe to help resolve the government’s debts.

By Fatimah Zainal
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/11/rm735bil-samurai-bond-to-fund-education-transport-sectors-not-repay-national-debts-says-kadir/#CAqvQFpgPpHJPeof.99

Malaysia to Look East on education: Dr M

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

TOKYO: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia will continue the Look East Policy and further enhance it.

The Prime Minister said Malaysia also hoped for greater cooperation from Japan, especially in education.

He said he believed that it is was the Japanese culture and value system that contributed to Japan’s recovery after the war (World War Two) and ability to develop very fast to catch up with western developed countries.

“This time under the Look East Policy, we will be looking at the whole Japanese system of education, right from kindergarten to higher education,” he said at a joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, here, Tuesday.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir and Abe had a delegation meeting at the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office.

Dr Mahathir is on the second day of his three-day visit to Japan

Dr Mahathir said he also welcomed a proposal that JR Kyushu Railway Company would be looking into the transportation problem of Malaysia and to help Malaysia and advise on how to run the national railway.

He said during the meeting, both sides were very concerned about natural disasters which seemed to befall countries facing the Pacific.

” We are not able to extend much help but I hope we can do something to mitigate the disaster occurring in Japan and countries facing the Pacific.

“We are also concerned about the situation in East Asia. We are aware of the threats posed by North Korea. We feel that the best way to handle this problem is to have contact with them, which Malaysia has done.

“We believe if Malaysia and Japan work closely together we maybe able to influence the course of the development in this area. So that all countries here will experience peace and stability,” said Dr Mahathir

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir was conferred the “Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers” by Emperor Akihito of Japan. The conferment of Japan’s highest award follows the huge contributions by the Prime Minister in strengthening bilateral ties.

The conferment ceremony was held at the Imperial Palace here at 9.45am local time (8.45am Malaysian time). The order is the highest award to be conferred upon foreign statesmen for their contribution towards the bilateral relations between their respective countries and Japan, as well as their contribution to the region.

Dr Mahathir is the third leader from Asia conferred the prestigious award after former Singapore Prime Minister the late Lee Kuan Yew and former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He is on a three-day working visit to Japan since Monday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the conferment of the country’s highest award is because of Dr Mahathir’s various services for over many years in advancing relationship between the two countries.

“Prime Minister Mahathir, please accept my warmest congratulation on the conferment of the “Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers”. Under the Look East Policy put forward by the Prime Minister who is a long time friend of Japan and (had) visited Japan more than 100 times, students and trainees in excess of 60,000 have come to Japan for the last 36 years,” he said in his joint press conference with Dr Mahathir.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=128532

Dear Minister…

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018
Potgieter wants to empower teachers.

Potgieter wants to empower teachers.

ON May 20, Elmarié Potgieter penned a heart-felt, open letter to Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik. Her Facebook post has since garnered over 2,800 shares on the social media platform – on top of the hundreds of personal responses received.

Since 2011, the education consultant has been working on large-scale transformation projects here including Khazanah National’s Yayasan Amir Trust Schools Programme to improve accessibility of quality education in government schools, and Genosis – a Malaysian education model to develop future-ready youngsters. She shares her views on the state of our education system.

> How did the open letter come about?

I was sitting on the couch and just thought I’d reach out to the minister. I never thought it would go viral. It wasn’t meant to criticise. I had seen so much having been in the system. I was frustrated because we have so much potential waiting to be realised.

> Teacher education is your passion. Why?

I was 20 when I started teaching in South Africa. My mother was a teacher but I never wanted to be one. Now it’s my passion. I’ve seen wonderful teachers here but training, practical strategies, empowering them to do what they’re supposed to do, and getting them to go back to the curriculum to see what’s there instead of looking at other people’s interpretation of it, are needed. The system doesn’t give teachers a sense of ownership. Amazing things happen when teachers are given the right personal development and trust by the schools. Singapore’s doing away with exams. Hooray. This is what’s needed but parents here don’t trust teachers to assess a child outside of the general exam. So we’re back to exams as the only way of evaluating a child’s success. We’ve to focus on teacher training and leadership development. Maybe our teachers need more learning assessment and formative learning practice training. The ministry tells teachers what’s expected but there’s not enough support on how to do it.

> Are parents doing enough?

Schools have to involve parents more. Parents don’t trust teachers because they don’t understand what’s happening in class. Treat them as partners. What can you contribute? Can you discuss this with your child at home? Communicate regularly with parents and they’ll understand better.

> How should teachers be trained?

The preferred approach internationally is to have generalised teachers who teach three or four subjects like English, Art, Science, and Math – at least from Years One to Three. At primary stage, subjects can be integrated and taught as themes – like seasons. Children can learn about the theme in Bahasa Malaysia, English, Science and Math lessons. This helps them develop socially, emotionally, and creatively.

One teacher doing several subjects also promotes bonding. At that age, kids need to feel secure. A generalised teacher can get to know their strengths and areas that need improvement better so knowledge can be integrated across the curriculum. Now, children go to school, and they have all these different teachers teaching them. They sit at their desks, copying from the book, memorising from the board, doing tests and studying for exams. Many go through the school and are functionally illiterate. They can recognise the ABCs but not necessarily understand the concepts and thinking skills. Also, teachers spend so much time moving from class to class that how much of the period is really spent teaching?

> Let’s talk about the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

The blueprint has great ideas and it’s a fantastic document but implementation is a problem. When big decisions are made, cascading them down to teachers is hard. Sometimes teacher training gets diluted. Other times, the system doesn’t allow its implementation. Content’s not the problem. It’s a system issue. Go into any school and the first thing you’ll see at the reception area is a countdown clock to the exams. If exams are still driving what happens in schools, that means teachers still feel like their performance is measured by the children’s UPSR and SPM results. But you can’t blame the teachers or the schools. High UPSR marks gets you a good place in a high-performing, or a fully residential school, so that you can score in the SPM. And, that’s how the child gets a bursary sponsorship or gains entrance into university.

So varsities could be a key driver to change things. If varsities look at interview portfolios as an avenue for students to present and show off their skills, and consider the SPM results as only one factor for admission, maybe then we can start de-prioritising exams.

> What more can we do for early education?

Not enough attention has been given. We’re not talking about colouring within the lines here, but many parents don’t prioritise early childhood education so when kids go to school, teachers are faced with two groups of students – one that’s attended pre-school and have the basic literacy skills to take up the curriculum, and a larger group who has never had any formal pre-school training. The foundation must be laid even before the primary years. There are windows of opportunity in a child’s brain when certain synapses are formed and it’s very hard to create those new connections later on.

> How’s the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) aligned curriculum working out for us?

It’s good to benchmark your English performance against international standards but the textbook is very inappropriate. Children struggle with context. They’re talking about topics and a pre-knowledge that our students do not have. There’s great confusion among the teachers too – whether they should follow the textbooks, lesson plans given by specialist coaches, or integrate the two systems. There’s a fear of doing the wrong thing. There are many contradictory instructions. Teachers feel lost. There’s much talk about 21st century learning but there’s no clear conceptualisation about what it means.

> How are we doing with technology in education?

Teachers are given smart phones so they can access the Frog Virtual Learning Environment platform. Some log on and just let the app run. Many haven’t even taken the phone out of the box because they don’t know how to use it. Children aren’t allowed to bring their mobiles to schools. There’s so much fear that they’ll do bad things but isn’t it better to educate them about what’s right and how to use this very powerful tool? You can’t have IT in the classroom if you don’t have a device and Internet connectivity. But how you integrate IT in your teaching is also important.

We can do better

Education consultant Elmarié Potgieter’s suggestions in her recent open letter to the ministry:

> Education Ministry departments

Communication and alignment between existing departments is sorely lacking. As a result, schools are inundated by different projects and data management systems that result in a huge administrative burden, miscommunication and confusion. A leaner, empowered workforce will ensure huge savings and efficiency.

By Christina Chin
Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2018/11/04/dear-minister/#pS4wy1y3H2m2697y.99

Going beyond exams

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018
Genosis training for teachers, school improvement specialist coaches, district education officers and Institute of Teacher Education Malaysia lecturers in Putrajaya.

Genosis training for teachers, school improvement specialist coaches, district education officers and Institute of Teacher Education Malaysia lecturers in Putrajaya.

TO cope with the intensified demand for a highly skilled, progressive, and adaptable workforce, the creation, updating, and application of knowledge, is vital, says Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) CEO Naser Jaafar.

Our students, he feels, can become global-minded Malaysians with a high level of empathy and cultural understanding, and are able to play a big role in the 21st century world and beyond.

Enter Genosis – a pilot project that will be rolled out in 10 schools – SMK Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, SMK SS17 Subang Jaya, SMK Sungai Burong and SMK Pengkalan Permatang (Selangor); SMK Bandar Baru Sri Sendayan and SMK Warisan Puteri (Negri Sembilan); SMK Putrajaya Presint 11(1) and SMK Putrajaya Presint 18 (1) (Putrajaya); and SMK Keramat Wangsa and SMK Puteri Ampang (Kuala Lumpur) – next year.

The pilot phase, which ends in the year 2021 is jointly funded by AIM and its education arm, Genovasi Foundation (GF). For the future, AIM and GF are looking at models like public private partnerships or social impact funding.

Rite Education managing director Elmarié Potgieter, who leads the design of Genosis, explains the aim of the programme.

“We wanted to take design thinking, inquiry-based learning, and the International Baccalaureate (IB) to create a framework for Malaysia, but one that could also be adopted by other countries.”

Education experts were brought in to look at what we had. And, Potgieter was pleasantly surprised to find that all the necessary elements were there – investigation, exploration, cross-curriculum work, and concepts. The problem, she found, was that teachers didn’t know what to do.

“They’re overwhelmed. Everyday there’s a new thing. If you were to measure learner participation and ownership in classrooms, the results would be quite shocking.”

The Genosis teaching guide.

The Genosis teaching guide.

Why Genosis works

Establishing master trainers among school teachers, school improvement specialist coaches (SISC) from district education offices (PPD), and Institute of Teacher Education (IPG) lecturers, ensures effective cascading of information to schools, says Naser.

These master trainers can deliver comprehensive and customised training as they’re very familiar with the school, and understand the positives and challenges, and other intrinsic factors like socio-economic levels and dialects.

Additionally, master trainers, teachers, students, and parents, are connected via the Genosis Education Management System (gEMS).

“The master trainer process exposes teachers to ways they can integrate 21st century skills, tools and teaching strategies, in their classrooms, while balancing direct instruction with project-oriented teaching methods,” Naser says.

All learning materials are online and accessible to teachers, Potgieter adds. And unlike other programmes where trainers come to the school for a few hours and leave, Genosis master trainers are based in the schools so they’re there to guide the delivery long after training is over.

“We’re building capacity in the schools. Learning changes continuously. Training alone doesn’t help. You must see a change in the class. It also comes down to support, and proper performance management.”

Professional development modules are designed as flipped classroom models, and workshops utilise face-to-face and e-learning dimensions, so teachers understand Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) inquiry and project-based learning, Naser shares.

“Student learning is always connected to, and applied in, real-life problems and scenarios.”

Students first

Genosis covers the national curriculum’s mandatory subjects, but also allows students to take optional subjects, Naser says.

With a broader and deeper set of knowledge and skills, students can adapt their understanding for use in any situation.

“Lessons are exciting, engaging and meaningful. Classrooms are more animated. Students are trusted to work independently to find information for themselves.

“They develop critical thinking and creativity while learning to collaborate with their peers.”

The core of Genosis, he adds, is the individual learning portfolio.

Each child has an e-portfolio that will follow them through their secondary years, explains Potgieter.

“The comprehensive e-portfolio will include competency assessments by their peers, teachers, parents and themselves. Tasks linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals showcase their design thinking abilities, to solve problems in the community. By the time they get to Form Five, the e-portfolio will show whether the student can work in a team, has good values, and problem-solve. This e-portfolio can be given to universities as proof of the student’s capabilities,” she says, adding that assessment is not about what you remember, but how you apply your skills.

The e-portfolio will showcase skills like writing, creating, and producing visuals. The process of building the personal e-portfolio is important. No two student will have the same kind of e-portfolio, she says.

“Design thinking starts with empathy so you have to find the problem, define it, prototype it, and review it. It’s amazing what children are capable of but we don’t trust them in the learning process.”

Assessing the pilot project

The ‘Genosis Benchmarks and Beacons’ guidelines will be used to define and improve the implementation quality and to assess teacher and student development and progress, says Naser.

Genosis is in line with the Malaysia Education Blueprint, stresses Potgieter. If this works, it could change Malaysian education.

“We’ve developed hundreds of lessons, projects, and investigations, so teachers know what to do and can eventually prepare their own materials.”

By Christina Chin

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2018/11/04/going-beyond-exams/

Ministry awaiting report on Express exposure

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Selangor: The Education Ministry (KPM) is still waiting for a detailed report from the Sabah State Education Department (NRD) regarding a lawsuit filed by a former student in Kota Belud against her teacher for allegedly not coming in to teach for seven months.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said if the 18-year-old girl’s claims were true, it would be a disappointing affair.

“If indeed there was a complaint filed but was not given due attention, I feel we should check where the mistake or wrongdoing (regarding the escalation of complaint) was committed, if any,” she said after officiating Wisma NUTP Selangor at Section 7 here, Wednesday.

Also present were National NUTP president Kamarozaman Abd Razak and Selangor NUTP chairman Abu Bakar Semaat. Nafirah Siman, 18, a former SMK Taun Gusi filed the suit against Jainal Jamran, whom she accused of not coming in to teach for seven months in 2015, while she was in Form Four.

The suit, filed on Oct 16, also named the school principal Suid Hanapi, the Kota Belud district education officer, director of the Sabah Education Department, KPM, and the government as defendants

In her suit, Nafirah among others claimed that Jainal did not come in to teach from February to October 2015, except for one week when an officer from KMP visited the school.

The teenager also claimed that although several complaints had been made, no action had been taken, and that the principal allegedly closed the case by falsifying the attendance records, showing that Jainal was only absent for two months.

In the meantime, Teo admitted that the ministry was facing a shortage of teachers in urban and rural areas, where for primary schools alone, 4,000 teachers were required.

Hence, as an immediate measure, she said the ministry had decided that all teachers who had or will be graduating this year would be stationed in schools for the 2019 academic year, and if there were any more vacancies, interim teachers would be appointed to ensure there was no disruption in studies.

“The challenge we face is that we need to wait for five years for one batch (of teachers to graduate), meaning that a potential teacher today would have entered the institution of higher learning five years ago, so we need to have more accurate projections (of required manpower) to ensure the number of new teachers we train is equivalent to the number of vacancies or teachers who are about to retire.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=128395

Sued for refusing to teach English

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: A former student of a secondary school in Kota Belud is suing the Government, Education Minister and six others for refusing to teach the English Language subject to her and her Form Four classmates three years ago.

It is understood to be the first such case where students are suing the school authorities for denying them their right to learn English.

She said this was a violation of their rights as students and was against the Federal Constitution, more so as it was their duty to teach but were absent from class nearly throughout the year.

They subsequently failed the subject in SPM examination, placing their hopes for a bright future in jeopardy.

Siti Nafirah Siman, 19, named Mohd Jainal Jamrin (a teacher), Hj 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, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth defendant, respectively

In her statement of claim, Siti Nafirah said that the first defendant was a teacher at the school and at all material times was assigned to teach the English language subject to students at the 4 Perdagangan class (4PD), in which the plaintiff was in.

She claimed that on or about February, 2015, the first defendant stopped entering 4PD and another class for his assigned English classes and was absent right until November save for a week in October 2015.

On March 30, 2015, the fourth, fifth, sixth and seven defendants, through their officers were notified that English teachers of the said school were absent from their classes during their assigned teaching hours.

This notice was made in a WhatsApp chat group (known as ‘the Fulbright WhatsApp Group’) and it was made by one Ibrahim Jadoon, a US State Department Fulbright Senior English Teaching Assistant Grantee to Malaysia, who was assigned to the third defendant for the 2015/2016 academic year, said Siti Nafirah.

She said on April 28, the same year, the fifth defendant through his two officers, were notified by Ibrahim that: As of date, the first defendant has been absent from his designated duty to teach the English subject to 4PD since February 2015; the second defendant has not taken any action regarding the first defendant’s absenteeism despite being notified of the same since April 2015; The affected students have made their grievances known to Ibrahim.

On June 17, 2015, the fourth defendant was given further notice of the absence of the first defendant when Ibrahim contacted one Bees Satoh, who was at the material time District English Language Officer (DELO), regarding the lack of action taken by the fourth defendant, despite having notice of the first defendant’s failure to attend the 4PD classes for five months.

On July 29, 2015, during a meeting called by the officers of the fifth defendant, the first defendant’s absenteeism was brought up by Head of English Department in the said school and that an officer of the fifth defendant, admitted that he was aware of absent English teachers at the said third defendant school

Siti Nafirah further claimed that sometime in July 2015, the other class was assigned a new English teacher and she, together with other students of 4PD, after noticing this, requested someone to speak with school administrators to assign them a new English teacher.

On Aug 6, the same year, the second defendant was once again notified of the first defendant’s absenteeism. This time, the second defendant sighted copies of class attendance records which showed the first defendant’s absenteeism.

On Aug 7, the fourth defendant through his officer, received a report from the Head of English Department of the said school regarding the first defendant’s absenteeism, but no action was taken against the first defendant.

On Aug, the sixth and seventh defendants, though their officer was notified of the first defendant’s absenteeism through an email and was also notified of the apparent lack of action by the second, fourth and fifth defendants regarding the said Absenteeism. On Aug 10, the fifth defendant through his officer, again received notice of the first defendant’s absenteeism through the Head of English Department’s Fulbright monthly report and as of date, the plaintiff has had no English teacher for seven months.

On Aug 17, the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh defendants, through their officers visited the third defendant school and met with the second defendant but they failed to address the first defendant’s absenteeism and this visit prompted the first defendant to enter the plaintiff’s class for one week. After which, he continued his absenteeism.

he plaintiff also claimed that she was informed by someone that officials from the fourth, fifth and sixth defendant were at school and she expressed her desire to talk to the officials regarding the impact of the absenteeism of the first defendant but the officials refused to meet with her.

On Aug 18, the second defendant had a meeting attended by all English teachers in the said school including the first defendant and during the meeting, the first defendant failed to explain his absenteeism when confronted by the Head of English Department and that the second defendant also refused to discuss the issue of absent teachers during the meeting, despite the same being brought up for discussion.

On Aug 24, a meeting was held at the office of the fourth defendant and was attended by, among others, the first, second defendants and officers of the fourth defendants.

During the meeting, the second defendant claimed that he was only notified of the first defendant’s absenteeism two weeks prior to the meeting and that the fourth defendant also denied knowledge of the first defendant’s absenteeism.

The fourth defendant instructed that a two-week self-observation of English teachers be conducted at the third defendant school.

The plaintiff further claimed that on Sept 9, the same year officers of the fourth defendants visited the said school and once again refused to discuss the issue of teacher absenteeism despite the same being brought up for discussion by someone

On or about October 2015, the second defendant met with the 4PD students including the plaintiff, in which during the meeting, the second defendant intimidatingly questions the students regarding first defendant.

After hearing the response from the students, the second defendant then proposed a deal, where he will arrange for an English teacher to teach their class for the remaining academic year, in exchange for them to write favourable words about the first defendant and also to claim responsibility for the lack of an English teacher during the year.

The plaintiff claimed that, out of fear and the desperate want for an English teacher, the students of 4PD, including her, accepted the second defendant’s offer.

On or about October 2015, the first defendant fabricated his attendance record under the instruction of the second defendant. Consequently, the attendance records then showed that the first defendant was only absent for two months.

The plaintiff claimed that the first defendant continued to be absent from 4PD which were at the material time was without a teacher for seven months.

The first defendant entered 4PD for a duration of one week in October 2015 after the visit by officials of the fourth, fifth and sixth defendant on Aug 17 and then refused to teach them again.

The plaintiff claimed that the first defendant was in breach of Regulations 3A and 23 of Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993 for his absence during the said Absenteeism and his failure to perform his duty as the English Language teacher for 4PD.

She also claimed, among others that the second, fourth and fifth defendants had known or ought to have known that they are duty bound under Regulation 3C(1) Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993 to take appropriate action upon being notified of the first defendant absence during the said Absenteeism.

Accordingly, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eights defendants are in breach of their statutory duty under Regulation 3C(2) Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993.

She also claimed that the first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, seven and eight defendants was at all material times under a duty to ensure that the students of 4PD, including her are to receive quality education, a right protected by Article 5 read together with Article 12 of the Federal Constitution.

The plaintiff also claimed that at all material times the defendants were aware that their acts were unlawful and would cause the injury and losses to her and also have violated her constitutional right to education.

She said the defendants, except the third defendant, were negligently and/or in breach of their Statutory Duty and/or committed misfeasance in public office.

The first defendant, she claimed failed to attend and teach English classes during the said Absenteeism and also claimed that the second defendant failed to take any reasonable steps to ensure that the first defendant taught the 4PD students and that with the knowledge that such failure would result the 4PD students not being prepared for the examination as prescribed by or under the Education Act.

The plaintiff is therefore, seeking among others a declaration that the first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eight defendants are in breach of their statutory duty under the Education Act by failing to; ensure that she is taught the English language during the period of February 2015 to Oct 2015; prepare her for examinations as prescribed under the Education Act

She also seeking a declaration that the first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eight 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 off by the first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eight defendants amounted to misfeasance in public office;

by Jo Ann Mool.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=128393