KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry (MOE) will be holding talks with the Prime Minister's Department to expedite the registration of private religious schools including 'madrasah' and Quran memorisation (tahfiz) schools, said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
He said the ministry would discuss the matter with Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom in the near future.
"I will sit together with Jamil after May 1... We will discuss how to speed up the registration of these schools.
"The government does not plan to close tahfiz schools and 'madrasah' as proposed by certain quarters...That (the closure) won't happen," said Mahdzir after officiating the 2017 Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair (PBAKL17) here today.
Also present were Education director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, who is also Malaysian National Book Council (MNBC) chairman, and Malaysian Book Industry Council chairman Ishak Hamzah.
On Thursday, Mahdzir announced that all private religious schools would soon be registered under the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim).
He said the move was in line with the National Tahfiz Education Policy (DPTN) as proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last year.
Mahdzir said the registration exercise would also allow the government to monitor such schools so that they would follow the standard operating procedures set by the ministry.
Meanwhile, Khair said the PBAKL17, being held for 10 days since yesterday, is set to attract 2.5 million visitors.
He said the event, organised by MOE via MNBC, saw participation from 304 exhibitors including 28 from the United States, United Kingdom, Iran and Egypt.
"For the first time ever, this year''s programme has gathered 1,000 authors from around Southeast Asia. The visitors also get to enjoy discounts of up to 80 per cent on the books," Khair added. -- BERNAMA