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Mahdzir: Private religious schools not registered with Education Ministry

JOHOR BARU: The Education Ministry has no authority to monitor private Islamic religious schools in the country as they come under the Islamic religious councils of the respective states.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (pic) said this included monitoring how the schools were run, their syllabus and the hiring of teaching staff.

He said that most of the private Islamic religious schools were either opened by individuals or bodies set up to oversee the well-being of Muslims.

"They are not registered with the ministry and some of them are not even registered with the respective Islamic religious councils in their states," Mahdzir told reporters at the opening of a Teacher's Day Carnival 2017 here on Saturday.

Mahdzir was asked to comment on the latest incident where an 11-year-old boy was allegedly beaten with a water hose by an Indonesian religious teacher at a tahfiz school in Batang Kali, Selangor.

He said the ministry only has the authority to monitor national schools, Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools, national religious schools and missionary schools.

"We can't go to these private Islamic religious schools telling them how to run as the ministry does not even pay the salaries of the teaching and support staff," said Mahdzir.

He said the ministry could only advise the schools to come forward and register but it was up to the schools whether they wanted to heed the advice.