KUANTAN: The Pahang government has no intention of closing science stream classes in religious secondary schools (SMA) in the state and there are currently four SMAs which offer it.
State Agriculture, Agro-Based Industry and Biotechnology Committee chairman Mohd Soffi Abd Razak said the four religious schools which still offer pure science classes are SMA Al Khairiah, Temerloh; SMA Al Maidah Addiniah, Padang Tengku, Lipis; SMA Al Ihsan, Kuantan; and SMA Tengku Ampuan Fatimah, Pekan.
“The government has no intention of cutting off opportunities for students with potential in the science stream.
“To ensure that this opportunity is still made available, the Pahang Islamic Religious Department (JAIP) will also re-open or increase the number of science classes in SMA Al Khairiah, SMA Al Ihsan and SMA Tengku Ampuan Fatimah,” he said.
Soffi was speaking at the first meeting of the second term of the Pahang state assembly sitting at Wisma Sri Pahang here today, representing state Religious Affairs, Education and Health Committee chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad, who was absent due to health issues.
He was responding to a question from Sharil Azman Abd Halim (PAS-Jengka) who asked about the steps taken by the state government to resolve the problem of closure of pure science classes at SMAs in the state.
Commenting further, Soffi said so far, the state government had only postponed the intake of Form Four students into the pure science stream at Sekolah Maahad Sultam Addini, Jengka, Maran, but the Form Five class in the science stream remained and students will sit for the examination this year.
“The intake was postponed because there were only four students who applied for the pure science class in the school. All were offered places at the SMA Al Kairiah Temerloh, which has hostel facilities.
“This move was taken to reduce the burden on the teachers and they can focus more on some other areas. At the same time, there will also be savings in the cost of maintenance, purchase of equipment and workforce,” he said.
The assembly was also informed that the state government had no plans to increase the monthly RM18 fees in religious schools in the state even though this amount was considered low compared to the increase in other costs.