PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry and Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) officers will meet soon to discuss the plan to register all private religious schools including tahfiz schools.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the meeting would deliberate on the terms of reference needed in the registration of these learning institutions.
"I have discussed with the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom regarding the registration of tahfiz schools.
"In the initial stage, we have proposed for officers from the Education Ministry and Jakim to sit down and determine the terms of reference for the registration of such schools.
"Once we have the terms, we will get details from the states on the number of schools in their jurisdiction and the next course of action that can be taken by Jakim," he told reporters at the 2017 gathering of principals and headmasters of public religious schools today.
To a question, Mahdzir said, the terms of reference here included classes, buildings, hostels, teaching staff and teacher qualifications.
He said this in response to a recent death of a 11-year-old tahfiz pupil Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi. He had been admitted to hospital for a bacterial infection allegedly caused by abuse at a private religious school in Kota Tinggi.
In the meantime, Mahdzir reiterated that the move to register private religious schools was part of the National Tahfiz Education Policy, as proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
It was reported that once the private relious schools are registered with Jakim, they will have to adhere to the standard operating procedures set by the Education Ministry, including on disciplinary measures.
Earlier, Mahdzir urged 278 religious schools under the ministry's purview to uphold the quality of education and stressed on the importance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-based programmes.
"We need to look at how STEM in the perspective of Islam and how to assimilate them in other subjects." he said.