Teacher absenteeism: KK High Court to deliver judgment on July 18

KOTA KINABALU: The High Court here is expected to deliver its judgment on Tuesday (July 18) on an unprecedented suit filed by three students against an English teacher in Sabah's northern Kota Belud district.

Their lawyer Sherzali Herza said on Monday (July 17) that Kota Kinabalu High Court judge Justice Leonard David Shim will deliver the judgment via e-review.

"The judgment is fixed for Tuesday (July 18), it will be heard over zoom," he said when contacted.

The suit was filed in December 2020 by former students - Rusiah Sabdarin, Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali and Calvina Angayung -against English teacher Mohd Jainal Jamran for failing to turn up and teach them at SMK Tuan Gusi in Kota Belud for seven months in 2017, when they were 16 years old.

The defendants are Mohd Jainal (first defendant), then school principal Suid Hanapias (second), Education Ministry director-general (third), Education Minister (fourth) and the Malaysian government (fifth).

A total of 10 witnesses testified for the plaintiffs, while three witnesses testified for the defendants during the trial that began in September last year and wrapped up in January this year.

Senior federal counsel Mohd Hafizi Abd Halim, together with federal counsel Fazrul Fardiansyah Abdul Kadir, acted for the defendants during the trial.

The suit by the trio, who are now 22 years old, is among two suits brought against the same teacher by former students of the school.

The first lawsuit was filed by former SMK Taun Gusi student Siti Nafirah Siman in October 2018.

The trial is still ongoing before Justice Ismail Brahim at the High Court here. It is scheduled to resume on Aug 16.

The suits followed a campaign started by a Sabah-based NGO, Tiada Guru, which has been pushing for students' right to quality education and awareness on teacher absenteeism, especially in rural Sabah.

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