Putrajaya clamps down on dissent, transfers anti-assessment system teacher


(TMI) – The man behind the teacher pressure group’s planned protest today against the student-based assessment (SBA) has been given a 24-hour notice of transfer to a rural school in Pahang in what is seen as Putrajaya’s clampdown on dissent by civil servants.

Despite the sudden transfer notification, teacher Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari, 29, who is the Suara Guru-Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM) working group chief, refused to be cowed and said the protest would go ahead as planned.

The group planned to gather at the Bandar Baru Bangi mosque prior to the rally.

Nor Izzat, who has been called “Guru Setahun Jagung” (greenhorn teacher) by the ministry for being a vocal critic of the SBA, said his transfer was proof that the Education Ministry was exercising its powers over him.

He told The Malaysian Insider that his good friend and colleague, Mohd Zulkefli Seman, who teaches at the same school in Jerantut, Pahang, also received a transfer letter yesterday morning.

Nor Izzat said Zulkefli was not a SGMM member, but had accompanied him to meet with Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh last year.

“SGMM had sent a written request to meet with deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Education Minister,” Nor Izzat said.

Last December, SGMM was invited to a discussion with Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh on the much-maligned school-based assessment system (SBA).

Nor Izzat said the ministry promised at the meeting to resolve the system’s weaknesses.

However, despite the meeting, SGMM decided to press ahead with tomorrow’s planned gathering because it regarded the promise as mere lip service from Putrajaya.

“We don’t want Putrajaya to re-examine SBA, we want it abolished,” Nor Izzat said yesterday.

“The transfer letters are clearly an attempt by the ministry to foil tomorrow’s (today’s) gathering.

“If the proper procedure is followed in terms of disciplinary measures, there are several steps to be taken before a transfer letter is issued,” he added.

Nor Izzat, who teaches Art at his current school, said he was surprised when he received the letter yesterday.

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