Pondok schools not a dumping ground for problem children, says minister

Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar delivering his speech at the a gathering with scholars, teachers, and pupils of the Kelantan pondok schools at Pondok Lubuk Tapah, here Friday (July 14). - Photo: Bernama

PASIR MAS: The government does not want the pondok school institution to be used as a dumping ground for problem children, says Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) said the government wanted to ensure that pupils studying at the Islamic educational institutions are of good quality, thus a guideline has been developed to address the matter, for example in terms of intake.

"So, with this uniform guideline, it is easy to ensure that students who are admitted are those who truly want to learn," he told reporters after attending a gathering with scholars, teachers, and pupils of the Kelantan pondok schools at Pondok Lubuk Tapah, here Friday (July 14).

"Troubled children need to be properly educated by the family first, so if parents and families play a role in educating children, there will be no problems," he said, urging parents not to leave the responsibility of educating their children to the schools.

He said that currently there are 1,332 registered "maahad tahfiz" throughout Malaysia and a total of 304 registered pondok schools in the country, including 50 in Kelantan.

He also encouraged pondok schools to be registered so that it would be easy for the government to distribute assistance.

"The government assures that it will provide the necessary assistance and we want to ensure that the pondok institution plays a role in defending Islam and society in this country," he said, adding that registered pondok schools will make it easier to supervise the pupils. - Bernama

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