Ministry denies ‘Hindu’ pupil forced to take Islamic Studies

05 Feb 2019 / 17:43 H.

SEREMBAN: The Education Ministry today denied a news portal report yesterday that a Hindu pupil was forced to study Islamic Studies at a school in Negri Sembilan.

Education director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin said the ministry found that the girl, now in Year Three, had been taking Moral Education since starting school in 2017.

“The school allowed the pupil to take Moral Education based on the information provided by her father without producing the child’s birth certificate.

“Based on the information provided by her father, the school assumed that the pupil was a Hindu and allowed her to attend Moral Education classes,” he said in a statement here.

Amin said the Negri Sembilan Education Department gave the approval in 2017 for the pupil to be registered as ‘ a pupil without documentation’.

“However, until now, the father has not submitted a copy of the birth certificate to the school as required,” he said.

Amin said that a thorough check by the ministry following the news report showed that the National Registration Department had registered the pupil as a Muslim and that her mother was also a Muslim.

He explained that under the Education Act 1996, every Muslim pupil was required to attend Islamic Education which was a core subject for Muslim pupils under the National Curriculum.

Any Muslim student was entitled to Islamic Education, whether in government schools, government-aided schools or private schools in the country, he said.

“Schools adhere to this matter based on the proof that the pupil is a Muslim,” he said, adding that, as such, there did not arise any issue that the pupil was forced to take Islamic Education.

Amin said the ministry understood the situation faced by the parents of the pupil.

“However, as the religious status of the pupil’s mother is subject to an appeal in the courts, the ministry will leave it to the courts to make a decision,” he said.

He said the ministry would take the appropriate action in line with the court decision. — Bernama

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