SINGAPORE: A professor at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) who, according to a former student, shared “derogatory” opinions about Islam in the classroom could be fired, said the second Minister of Education, Maliki Osman, Thursday (June 10th) .
Ms. Nurul Fatimah Iskandar shared her account of comments on Islam made by her then teacher Tan Boon Lee in class in 2017, on Instagram and Facebook on Wednesday.
In her messages, Ms Nurul said she was the only Muslim student in the class. During the lesson on July 28, 2018, she said that Mr. Tan opened websites and projected them on the screen, pointing out things about religion that he disagreed with.
He also pointed the finger at her and asked her if she agreed with what he was saying, Ms Nurul said in her account.
“I could barely open my mouth amid his incessant statements. I was barely 17 years old, I had just come out of 10 years of madrasa trying to integrate myself into the new secular environment, ”she writes in her article.
“Once his suspension is over, he could return to the classrooms. He shouldn’t be allowed to come back.
In her post, Ms Nurul also said that she filed a complaint against the lecturer, but nothing happened after that.
Adding that she was “livid” at the time, she wrote: “I remember trying to find the courage to finally file a complaint. I remember nothing happened.
TBEN sought NP’s comments on this issue, but the school did not address the issue in its response.
This speaker is the “same one who made racist comments,” Dr Maliki wrote in a Facebook post.
NP suspended the staff member from teaching duties on Monday after a video of him making racist remarks towards an interracial couple was circulated widely online. Police said at the time that a 60-year-old man was helping with investigations.
READ: Ngee Ann Polytechnic suspends teacher who made racist remarks at couple in viral video
In his post, Dr Maliki said he was “very shocked and disappointed” to hear the former student’s account of how the lecturer shared his “personal and derogatory views” on Islam in class. in 2017.
“NP and the MOE are taking this incident seriously. NP is continuing its investigation and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action, including dismissal of the speaker if necessary, ”he wrote.
“There is no room for anti-ethnic and anti-religious remarks in our educational institutions, let alone from an educator.”
READ: Racism exists but Singapore has made huge strides in racial harmony – Shanmugam
NP is aware of the allegations made by the former student against the lecturer who “inappropriately discussed religion in class” in 2017, his spokesperson said in response to questions from TBEN.
“We strive to ensure that our campus remains a safe and conducive space for learning at all times, and we deeply regret the experience of our alumnus. We contacted the former student to help us with more information, ”added the spokesperson.
The school has a “zero tolerance approach” against “any form of misconduct” on the part of members of the NP community, the spokesperson said.
“Our staff members are expected to respect cultural, ethnic and religious differences when interacting with students and other staff. They must respect secularism and impartiality at all times, in accordance with our Staff Code of Conduct.
“The lecturer in question has been suspended from his duties. We are investigating the matter and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action, including termination if necessary. ”
Students and alumni who have had “similar experiences” are also encouraged to contact the school at [email protected], the spokesperson said.