SHAH ALAM, March 25 — There are only 14 unregistered tahfiz or religious schools in Selangor, with one school shut down last year, Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari told the State Legislative Assembly today.
He said that the state administration has been taking steps to register tahfiz schools, realising the potential of such schools in producing skilled huffaz (a person who has memorised the Quran) and the need for greater security.
“That’s why as of now, the state government has registered more than 200 tahfiz schools, and from our record, till now, only 14 tahfiz schools have not registered with the Islamic department,” he said in his winding up speech.
“So if you need the numbers, then these 14 are the ones faced with the risk of being closed down, because they have already been given enough grace period,” Amiruddin said, adding that the Selangor government has already given unregistered tahfiz schools a two-year grace period to register their operations.
Responding to Templer assemblyman Mohd Sany Hamzan’s question as to why some tahfiz schools are still operating illegally, the mentri besar said: “Maybe they are worried that some of their teaching staffs who are brought in are not citizens, and may be, have immigration issues.”
He said one school, which had 25 students and two teachers, was closed last year for failing to meet the state’s requirements.
Last week, Selangor Ruler, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah decreed that unregistered tahfiz schools using outmoded education syllabuses can no longer operate.
He said that to date, there are approximately 15,000 tahfiz students studying in 263 private schools under the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) throughout the state.
The decree came following the announcement by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad in September last year that unregistered tahfiz centres in Kuala Lumpur would be closed down, to ensure the safety and welfare of students as well as to preserve the image of Islamic religious institutions.