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Home2021 IssuesFeb 2021Playing hooky not a game

Playing hooky not a game

Usually it’s students who skip class, but in a twist on convention, this time it was a teacher who didn’t turn up – for seven months.

Three school girls from the Malaysian state of Sabah started out suing their English teacher for being absent from classes most of the school year and their school’s headmaster for allowing it to happen, and now they’ve added the Malaysian government as the overarching authority responsible for education. In Malaysian secondary schools, both science and maths are taught in English, so being proficient is pretty crucial.

One of the three students suing, Siti Nafirah Siman, blames the absence of the English teacher for her failing the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), or Malaysian Certificate of Education, which includes an essay written in English. 

“The reason we are filing this suit is to ensure that other students will not, in future, face the same problems we all faced at the school,” said Nur Natasha, another of the three students, at a press conference.

Although the case was first instigated back in 2018, the three young women will finally get their day in court this May.

Image courtesy of Bill Oxford on Unsplash
Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
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