No to interfaith studies as formal school subject


PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry has turned down a proposal to teach interfaith studies as a formal subject in schools, arguing the syallabus would overlap topics taught in Moral, Civic and Islamic subjects.

Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid said interfaith topics would instead be incorporated into Moral, Civic and Islamic subjects.

Mahdzir said this after launching the “second wave” of the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2016-2020 here, Tuesday.

His remarks on interfaith studies were in response to a suggestion by the Committee to Promote Inter-Faith Understanding and Harmony to incorporate interfaith studies into the school syllabus as many Malaysians were still ignorant about religions other than their own.

The committee’s chairman, Azman Amin Hassan, recently said knowledge of the religions practised in the country could strengthen unity and harmony in Malaysia.

On another matter, Mahadzir said that computer coding would be incorporated into the school syllabus next year.

It will not only be taught as part of Computer Science classes, but will also be included in Science and Mathematics classes.

The move to incorporate coding lessons is an initiative to encourage youths to become technology-makers, instead of mere users, he said.

On the Blueprint, Mahadzir said it was currently in the “second wave” (2016-2020), out of a total of three.

This particular stage will see the ministry intensifying efforts to improve the quality of teachers, create critical thinking skills among students, further narrow the urban-rural education gap, establish the interest and abilities of students, and enhance the delivery systems of educators.