In the first case of its kind in Sabah, a former student of a secondary school in Kota Belud is suing her English teacher for allegedly not showing up to lessons for eight months
According to Malaysiakini, the former student of SMK Taun Gusi claimed that the teacher did not turn up to teach English classes from February 2015 until October 2015. He did, however, show up for one week when the Education Ministry and state Education Department visited the school.
The Malaysian Insight reported that Siti Nafirah Siman, now 19, claimed that the teacher's failure to teach English classes caused her to fail the subject in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination
Jainal Jamran, the teacher in question, was assigned to the girl's class in 2015 when she was in Form Four. He has been named as the first defendant in the case.
The other defendants in the case, according to Malaysiakini, are the school's headmaster Suid Hanapi, SMK Taun Gusi itself, the Kota Belud district Education officer, director-general of the state's Education Department, the Education Ministry, and the federal government.
Nafirah also alleged that no action was taken against the teacher despite having lodged multiple complaints to the school's headmaster as well as to the district and state Education Departments
According to Malaysiakini, Nafirah claimed that headmaster Suid Hanapi even attempted to cover up the teacher's long absence by asking him to "fabricate" his attendance record so it would appear as if he was only absent for two months.
She further alleged that the headmaster pressured students into giving "favourable comments" about the teacher.
Malaysiakini reported that Nafirah is seeking a declaration stating the defendants are in breach of their duties and that there was a misfeasance in public office
The news portal added that Nafirah is also seeking a declaration that the defendants are in breach of their statutory duty under the Education Act, having failed to ensure that she was taught English during the period of absenteeism and hence, violated her constitutional right for access to education.
She also seeks exemplary, general and aggravated damages as well as cost.
In court records sighted by Malaysiakini, the case has been fixed for mention on 19 November.