KUCHING, Nov 04: Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin says there are disciplinary steps to be taken before the Department of Education can dismiss any principal or teacher who is found to be causing harm to students.
He said the Department of Education could not just dismiss any teaching staff based on an allegation. An investigation needs to be conducted first before any action can be taken.
“There are disciplinary procedures. There are guidelines to be followed. They (Education Department) cannot just dismiss people. They must call for an investigation and follow the procedure of Stage One, Stage Two, Stage Three and so on.
“You cannot just simply dismiss people. Otherwise, the person involved can actually sue the department,” Manyin told DayakDaily yesterday.
He was responding to allegations about the principal of a boarding school in Simunjan who purportedly had been consistently abusing his powers, causing not only much frustration among the teachers and students to drop out but also leading to the death of a student.
The case was brought to the attention of the media by PBDSB Youth who cited a senior teacher of the school.
The senior teacher said in July 2015, one of the students passed away due to drowning because he was sent home without his parents being informed while many students had stopped schooling on the grounds of disciplinary problems.
It was also alleged that the principal has caused many problems since he took over the position and among them was the disharmonious relations between the school personnel.
The most recent incident was that teachers and staff were forced to cough up money to fund an end-of-year dinner to be held this month. Anyone of them who refused to attend or pay for the dinner was presented with a show cause letter by the principal.
Manyin said the case has not been reported to him, which to him meant the case is still being dealt with within the department.
“I don’t know whether they have done the investigation or not. If it involves death, then, police may be called in,” he said.
He said because education is under the federal list, he has no direct authority over the case.
“The PPD (district education officer) must report to the director first. From there, the director may take the appropriate action.”
“They can always refer to me if they need my help because directly I have no authority as education is under the federal list,” said Manyin. — DayakDaily