PETALING JAYA: A human rights activist has told schoolchildren that they can file a suit against teachers if the children are denied rights to learn.
Firdaus Husni, the chief human rights strategist at Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights, said all children have a basic right to education, and everyone has to help defend that right.
However there may be road bumps on a child’s journey to seek legal recourse.
“In our culture, children are taught to respect the elders and not to fight them. So when we hear of cases where a student files a suit against their teachers in court, some of us are taken by surprise and we cannot accept it,” Firdaus told an online forum on Saturday.
A secondary school student in Kota Belud, Sabah, is reported to have filed a suit against the English teacher over claims that the student skipped class for seven months.
Firdaus said that among the challenges that schoolchildren faced was fear in filing a court action, and the amount of legal fees that families need to fork out.
“If a case involves politics, this may lead to abuse on behalf of the authorities,” Firdaus added.
Fiqah Roslan, a spokesman for the Tiada.Guru campaign said children do not need to be afraid to fight the unjust school system. Tiada.Guru is an online campaign that aims to combat absenteeism among teachers
She added that schoolchildren should not keep silent if their rights are infringed. “If a teacher fails to exercise his or her duty, they should face the music,” Fiqah said.
Fiqah said no one should evade their responsibilities under the law.