Hajiji hopes teacher absenteeism will no longer happen with court ruling

KOTA KINABALU: Cases of teachers skipping classes should no longer happen after the High Court decision in favour of three students who sued a teacher for failing to teach them English at a school in Kota Belud.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said that with the case, he hoped that such issues of teachers skipping classes would not happen again in the future.

"We see the case as something very disappointing, as it is the responsibility of a teacher to teach their students,” said Hajiji.

"I hope this matter will not happen again. It is important for teachers to educate students at schools," he added on Tuesday (Aug 1) after presenting the Sabah scholarship awards to 40 top 2022 SPM students.

Hajiji said that it is important that students are not left behind.

On July 18, Kota Kinabalu High Court judge Justice Leonard David Shim made an unprecedented judgement in favour of three former students of a Kota Belud secondary school against their English language teacher, the principal and the government for violating their constitutional rights to access education six years ago.

The plaintiffs - Rusiah Sabdarin, Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali, and Calvina Angayung, all aged 22 - took the unprecedented move by filing the suit to bring their former teacher to court for not attending classes to teach them while they were in Form 4 at the school.

Among the declarations was that the five defendants were in breach of their statutory duties under the Education Act 1996 by failing to prepare the three plaintiffs for examinations.

The court declared that the principal was in breach of his duties under the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993.

Justice Shim said the action had violated the three students’ access to education guaranteed to them under the Federal Constitution.

He allowed for nominal damages in the sum of RM30,000 to be paid to each of the students by all five defendants jointly and severally. He also allowed for aggravated damages in the sum of RM20,000 to be paid to each of the students.

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Schools , Abseentism , Teachers , Students , Lawsuit , Hajiji Noor


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