Terms of ref­er­ence to be set for re­li­gious schools

New Straits Times - - News -

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.”

PIC BY MOHD FADLI HAMZAH

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.

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