31/10/2018 06:16 PM

SHAH ALAM, Oct 31 (Bernama) -- The Education Ministry (KPM) is still waiting for a detailed report from the Sabah State Education Department (NRD) regarding a lawsuit filed by a former student in Kota Belud against her teacher for allegedly not coming in to teach for seven months.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said if the 18-year-old girl's claims were true, it would be a disappointing affair.

"If indeed there was a complaint filed but was not given due attention, I feel we should check where the mistake or wrongdoing (regarding the escalation of complaint) was committed, if any," she said in a press conference after officiating Wisma NUTP Selangor at Section 7 here, today.

Also present were National NUTP president Kamarozaman Abd Razak and Selangor NUTP chairman Abu Bakar Semaat.

Nafirah Siman, 18, a former SMK Taun Gusi filed the suit against Jainal Jamran, whom she accused of not coming in to teach for seven months in 2015, while she was in Form Four.

The suit, filed on Oct 16, also named the school principal Suid Hanapi, the Kota Belud district education officer, director of the Sabah Education Department, KPM, and the government as defendants.

In her suit, Nafirah among others claimed that Jainal did not come in to teach from February to October 2015, except for one week when an officer from KMP visited the school.

The teenager also claimed that although several complaints had been made, no action had been taken, and that the principal allegedly closed the case by falsifying the attendance records, showing that Jainal was only absent for two months.

In the meantime, Teo admitted that the ministry was facing a shortage of teachers in urban and rural areas, where for primary schools alone, 4,000 teachers were required.

Hence, as an immediate measure, she said the ministry had decided that all teachers who had or will be graduating this year would be stationed in schools for the 2019 academic year, and if there were any more vacancies, interim teachers would be appointed to ensure there was no disruption in studies.

"The challenge we face is that we need to wait for five years for one batch (of teachers to graduate), meaning that a potential teacher today would have entered the institution of higher learning five years ago, so we need to have more accurate projections (of required manpower) to ensure the number of new teachers we train is equivalent to the number of vacancies or teachers who are about to retire.

"The lack of teaching staff is a decades-old problem which has yet to be solved. Therefore, we also aim to call for a meeting for all related parties to examine the problem from all possible aspects so that we can have the best long-term solution for the issue," she said.



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