The Najib administration prides itself on its efficiency and “People First, Performance Now” slogan, but almost a week have passed and the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has yet to countermand the mean, petty and punitive directive to transfer Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari, head of Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM) from Jerantut to a rural school for spearheading the protest against the weaknesses in the implementation of the student-based assessment (SBA) system.
Instead of thanking Nor Izzat for his contribution in forcing the Education Ministry to face up to the crisis faced by teachers as a result of dismally-conceived implementation of the SBA, resulting finally in the SBA system being put on hold last week, Muhyiddin is allowing the “Little Napoleons” in the Education Department a free hand to penalise Nor Izzat and other teachers for their courage and conviction in speaking up about the SBA weaknesses.
When Nor Izzat’s punitive transfer to a rural school with only 24 hours’ notice became public, Muhyiddin disclaimed responsibility, denying that he was involved in Nor Izzat’s transfer.
But what has Muhyiddin done in the past week to countermand Nor Izzat’s punitive transfer.
I have been informed that Muhyiddin had done nothing and Nor Izzat’s 24-hour transfer directive has not been countermanded.
Nor Izzat and others who have stood their ground to point out the weaknesses of the SBA system had performed an important national service and should be commended and rewarded for their conviction and tenacity to act in the interests of the teachers and even more important the students.
Instead of being grateful to Nor Izzat and the teachers involved, they are instead being victimised by mean, petty and punitive bureaucratic actions.
It has been suggested that Nor Izzat should be conferred the “Tokoh Cikgu” for the Year 2014. Muhyiddin should give this proposal serious consideration.
I suggest that the over 400,000 teachers in the education service be given an opportunity to express their views whether they agree that Nor Izzat should be conferred the title “Tokoh Cikgu” for the year 2014.
Muhyiddin should meanwhile take immediate action to revoke all mean, petty and punitive directives issued to Nor Izzat and other teachers for their role in criticising the weaknesses in the implementation of the SBA system?
(Media Statement in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 27th February 2014)