31 Oct 2018
KOTA KINABALU: Siti Nafirah, a native of Kota Belud, had filed a civil suit against the English teacher and seven others, including the government and Minister of Education, for refusing to teach English lessons to her and her Form Four classmates in 2015.
In the writ of summons, filed at the High Court Registry through Messrs Roxana and Co on October 16, plaintiff, Siti Nafirah had named Mohd Jainal Jamran (the teacher), Hj Suid Hj Hanapi (principal of SMK Taun Gusi), the school SMK Taun Gusi, Kota Belud district education officer, Sabah education director, director-general of education Malaysia, minister of education Malaysia and the Government of Malaysia as the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth defendants respectively.
The plaintiff is seeking, among others, a declaration that the first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth defendants were in breach of their statutory duty under the Education Act by failing to: ensure that she is taught the English language during the period from February 2015 to October 2015; prepare her for examinations as prescribed under the Education Act. She is also seeking a declaration that the second, fourth and fifth defendants were in breach of their duties under Regulation 3C, 25, 26 of the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993; a declaration that the acts of the first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth defendants amounted to misfeasance in public office.
The plaintiff is also seeking a declaration that the first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth defendants have violated her constitutional rights to access to education guaranteed to her under Article 5, read together with Article 12 of the Federal Constitution, and damages, costs and any further and other reliefs which the court may deem fit to grant.
The suit will be heard on November 19 this year at the High Court here.
Nafirah claimed in her suit that Jainal had failed to turn up to teach English from February 2015 until October 2015 except for one week when the Education Ministry and state Education Department officials visited the school.
She claimed that despite multiple complaints including from a Fullbright senior English teacher assistant grantee seconded to the school and the school’s English Department’s head, the authorities which were the Education Ministry, the state Education Department and the headmaster failed to act.
Further to that, she claimed headmaster Suid tried to cover-up the absenteeism by asking the teacher to “fabricate” his attendance to show that he was only absent for two months.
The suit also alleged that Suid intimidated students to give favourable comments about the teacher.
Nafirah 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 English 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.
She also seeks exemplary, general and aggravated damages as well as cost.