KOTA KINABALU: All religious schools should prepare their students to become citizens of the world too, said Sabah Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob.
When asked to comment on Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching’s heavily criticized call for a survey on Islamic studies subject in primary schools recently, Yusof explained that he does not have enough information about the development.
However, although he does not think a survey alone can solve any issue, he believed Teo had good intention, and pointed out that the subjects in tahfiz schools should be reformed.
“I also have concerns. All the religious schools should be monitored, not because of the teaching of Islamic subjects, but what I am concerned about is additional knowledge, for example, in the tahfiz (schools),” Yusof said after launching the Kota Kinabalu education office (PPDKK) excellence service award (APC) 2018, Teacher’s Day, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Kaamatan Festival at the Magellan Sutera Harbour Resort here yesterday.
“We encourage (the establishment of) tahfiz centres, but not only (for students) to memorize the Al-Quran, but they should be prepared to become a citizen. They should know how to calculate. They should know how to communicate, they should know how to manage the family.
“When I asked what is the career after they finish tahfiz school, they said they (want to) become an Imam (Islamic religious position). But how many imams can we produce?
“What about their management skills, how about their family, social, morals, association with the society? I am very concerned about this. We do not want them (to become) very extreme. They only know about the Al-Quran but they forget about worldly management.
“It shouldn’t be the way in Islamic studies but we should rearrange our curriculum in our religious schools. What is to be taught? Surveying is not solving the problem but to review. It’s a concern about that. But I think she has got good intentions, I don’t know what she mentioned about, what she meant, this is just speculation from me. We need to review the subject, what the curriculum should be in the religious schools?” he added.
PAS’ Kuala Nerus MP Datuk Khairuddin Aman Razali slammed Teo for allegedly inviting all Malaysians to provide feedback on how to improve the Islamic studies subject in primary schools through her Facebook page.
According to Khairuddin, Teo reportedly made the invitation via a post in her Facebook page, which was later removed.