For raising issue of teacher not attending class for months: “Ex-teacher tells of death threats”
Published on: Friday, November 25, 2022
By: Cynthia D Baga
“I was also intimidated by my Ketua Bidang Bahasa, one Cikgu Norhana, and another male English teacher named Cikgu Awang, saying that if I alerted the District Education Office, I would lose the entire school support,” she said.
Kota Kinabalu: A former teacher of SMK Taun Gusi who tried to speak up for her students over the English teacher’s absenteeism for several months was humiliated, scolded, blamed, scapegoated and even received a death threats.The 37-year-old teacher told High Court Judge, Leonard David Shim, that she made several efforts but was threatened with death twice and her car tires were slashed a few days after the death threats. She said it was the reason she decided not to pursue the matter since administration was also not bothered.
“I knew the principal or teachers would do nothing about it. I was the Head of English panel when the issue of the teacher’s absenteeism in 2015 was discovered for a number of classes in SMK Taun Gusi. “In this regard, Siti Nafirah (another student) from class 4PV had commenced action against the same teacher which was JJ (the English teacher). “I made efforts to solve the problem. I talked to the principal and made copies of record book. I showed it to the principal but was rejected and he asked to write a full report. When I made the full report, he rejected it again saying it was a bad quality report if used as evidence. “I was also intimidated by my Ketua Bidang Bahasa, one Cikgu Norhana, and another male English teacher named Cikgu Awang, saying that if I alerted the District Education Office, I would lose the entire school support,” she said. The teacher was the tenth witness in the suit filed by three former secondary students of SMK Taun Gusi, Kota Belud and the students are first plaintiff Rusiah Sabdarin, second plaintiff Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali and third plaintiff Calvina Angayung. The trio had named the teacher Mohd Jainal Jamrin (Mr JJ), Hj Suid Hj Hanapi (in his capacity as a principal of the SMK Taun Gusi), Director General of Education Malaysia, Minister of Education Malaysia and Government of Malaysia, as the first. , second, third, fourth and fifth defenders, respectively. They had claimed among others, that the teacher had failed to turn up in class to teach the subject for few months in 2017 and that the other defendants took no reasonable action despite being notified. To a question from counsel Sherzali Herza Asli, the teacher said she cannot speak on behalf of from other classes who were also affected in 2015.
“However, I believe many students were afraid of the potential negative reactions by the school against them. “Indeed, I understand the school administration has the tendency to harass and make threats against students who voice out issues concerning teacher’s absenteeism. “I say so because the plaintiffs obtained an injunction against the defendants to restrain them from harassing and threatening, especially the first plaintiff,” the teacher said. She said she was deeply disappointed with the school management and lost trust in it. She felt that it was a bad reflection of the education system. Asked the teacher whether she has any other evidence to prove the JJ’s abseenteism in class, the teacher said she recorded her conversation with one Cikgu Eddy. In the two-hour audio recording tendered in court, the teacher confirmed that the principal had spoken about teachers absenteeism. “In this recording, Eddy gave an example of the culture of fear and absenteeism at SMK Taun Gusi created by the principal against teachers that blew the whistle. “Eddy explained his unit Sejarah was also suffering from absent teachers. Once principal Suid learned that history teacher was absent, Suid backed (protected) that teacher instead of acting against that absent teacher. Principal Suid instead put the blame on Cikgu Eddy even humiliating Eddy in the teachers’ WhatsApp group. “Eddy also in the recording described that this stressful culture of fear created by principal Suid has made him lose his interest in the teaching profession and step down from the Ketua Panitia position. “He also confirmed that Suid was aware of teachers’ absenteeism, particularly JJ but blamed other teachers for not fixing the problem. However, in public, the principal would claim he was not aware of the absenteeism. “Eddy stated that Suid fabricated documents on school programs and Suid had forced teachers to key in fake student’s marks (markah terbang) to make it appear as if teachers had quickly finished their marking. “Eddy claimed these fabrications were rampant but his (Suid) goal is to make his school look ‘cantik’ even if there were underlying failures,” she said, when she explained about the audio recording. * Follow us on Instagram and join our Telegram and/or WhatsApp channel(s) for the latest news you don’t want to miss.
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