Ministry of Education has relaxed the ruling to allow graduate teachers from category grade DG41 to DG48 to hold office in a political party provided they apply and obtain approval from the ministry, since last year.
He said, in fact the ministry knows there are many more graduate teachers who are currently holding office in various political parties who did not apply for the ministry approval.
Of the sixteen applicants only six were given approval as the rules state that the applicant should not be holding the post of a school principal or a district education officer to be eligible to apply, Mohd Puad was speaking to reporters at the Tun Hussein Onn Institute of Teachers Education Campus here in Batu Pahat, yesterday.
Hence, the question of whether the applicant will be blacklisted by the ministry does not hold if one were to hold office in political party as the rules are clear and favours no particular political parties.
He stressed that, the important thing here is for the applicant to abide by the stipulated rules which is not to engage in any political activities during the school or office hours whichever the case maybe and after that is the rights of the individual.
The teacher concern needs to apply for unrecorded leave if he or she wants to be involved in carrying out political activities during his or her normal working hours otherwise the given approval can be withdrawn.
Dr. Mohd Puad added that the ministry just cannot accept the excuse that when someone apply for twenty-one days leave assuming to have suffered from stress but was found to be actively involves in political activities.
He was referring to Maarof Abd Mutalib, a teacher who took twenty-one days leave to accompany his wife in a by-election campaigning trail.
Maarof’s wife is the PAS candidate for the Tenang by-election which was held on January 30.
“We can accept if Maarof took leave to rest at home but to be actively involved in a by-election made us believed that he is lying on the reason he took such a long leave”, Dr. Mohd Puad said.