Tahfiz institution not a place to house troubled teens, say analysts

File picture shows PPIM chief Datuk Nadzim Johan speaking during a forum at the National Arts Gallery in Kuala Lumpur September 9, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
File picture shows PPIM chief Datuk Nadzim Johan speaking during a forum at the National Arts Gallery in Kuala Lumpur September 9, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

MELAKA, Nov 16 — Parents need to see and respect tahfiz institution as a centre to learn Quran and Islamic religion, not as a moral rehabilitation centre for troubled and juvenile delinquents.

Instead, parents as the people closest to their children need to get involved to shape the teenagers into useful human capital for the society and the country.

Malaysian Islamic Consumers Association (PPIM) chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan said parents should not take the easy way out in handling their troubled children by sending them off to tahfiz institution.

“The tahfiz institution is an institution to learn the Quran, a place to broaden one’s religious knowledge and not a rehabilitation centre to iron out unresolved issues of teenagers.

After sending your children to tahfiz centre or boarding schools, do some monitoring and do not just leave the responsibility to the teachers alone,” he told Bernama recently.

Sharing his sentiment was Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) vice-chairman Kamal Affandi Hashim who said parents also need to recognise their intention and purpose of sending their children to tahfiz institution.

“If their intention of doing so is to relinquish responsibility after failing to shape their child well or for the purpose of feeling good about themselves, I advise the parents to rethink their intentions.

“This is because the tahfiz Institution is a centre of knowledge to produce teens with a sound moral compass in the world and the hereafter,” he said.

He said parents who took the easy way out could be subject to legal action under Section 33 of the Child Act 2001 for negligence.

Kamal Affandi also advised parents to choose the tahfiz institution wisely by making checking their registration status.

“Parents should run a check and self-evaluate the school first before making any decision to send their children. Don’t just take other people’s word for it,” he said.

Kamal Affandi said the management of the schools should also check with the police before hiring teachers and support staff so that they did not hire those who had previous criminal records, especially related to bullying, sexual abuse and paedophilia, to avoid any untoward incidents.

“Anyone can make a police check and it is free of charge. It will be a waste if the public does not use the facilities provided by the government,” he said.

In addition to conducting a police check, he said the tahfiz school management should also conduct regular spot checks on the staff and the students to detect problems.

He said crime could happen anywhere and it would happen if the three elements – criminals, victims, and space collided at the same point. — Bernama

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