Terms of reference to be set for religious schools
PUTRAJAYA: Terms of reference are needed to register private religious schools, including tahfiz centres.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said his ministry and Islamic Development Department (Jakim) officers were scheduled to meet soon to deliberate on terms of reference in registering these schools.
“I have discussed with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir (Baharom) regarding the registration of tahfiz schools.
“At the initial stage, we have proposed for officers from the Education Ministry and Jakim to sit down and determine the terms of reference.
“Once we have these, we can get the relevant details from the states, such as the number of schools under their jurisdictions, and decide Jakim’s next course of action,” he said at the 2017 gathering of principals and headmasters of public religious schools yesterday.
Mahdzir said the terms of reference referred to, among others, classes, buildings, hostels, teaching staff and teachers’ qualifications.
Mahdzir reiterated the move to register private religious schools with Jakim was part of the National Tahfiz Education Policy, which was proposed by the prime minister.
It was reported that once the private religious schools were registered with Jakim, they had to follow standard operating procedures set by the Education Ministry, including on meting out disciplinary measures.
Headmasters of such schools welcome the move, following the death of tahfiz pupil Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi, 11, who was allegedly physically abused by an assistant warden at a religious school in Johor.
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Datuk Haji Abu Hassan Haji Sail headmaster Saiful Bahrin Abu said he would go to the ground to meet students in his school.
“By going to the ground, we get to know our charges — teachers and students — better by listening to what they have to say,” he said.
SM Imtiaz headmaster Abdul Wahab Mohd Arshad echoed Saiful’s views, saying Islam had never taught its followers to physically harm others.
“Our role is to educate and ensure our students benefit the society in the future. Islam is a peaceful religion and it teaches us to treat those younger than us in a delicate manner.”
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid giving his opening speech at the 2017 gathering of principals and headmasters of public religious schools in Putrajaya yesterday.