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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Razak wrong, religion good for schools, says teachers union

NUTP president dismisses suggestion by Abdul Razak Baginda that 'there's too much religion in schools', says students are better behaved because of it.
Kamarozaman: Religion has helped promote good and noble values among the students.
PETALING JAYA: The National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) president Kamarozaman Abdul Razak says it is wrong to suggest that the prominence of religion in national schools has had a negative impact on education in the country.
He was referring to the views expressed by Centre for Global Affairs (ICON) president Abdul Razak Baginda at a forum entitled “Malaysian Education: Where are we heading” on Tuesday night.
“Religion has crept in, reared its ugly head in our schools and our educational institutions. It has a negative impact,” Razak had reportedly told the forum audience.
Kamarozaman dismissed Razak’s notion altogether and said that on the contrary, religion has had a positive impact in schools.
“All these things about religion being a threat or an influence in schools, is simply untrue.
“In fact, the students become even better behaved. Religion has helped promote good and noble values among the students,” Kamarozaman told FMT.
He added that religion has promoted tolerance and understanding among those of different faiths, and this has led to better integration among students.
Over-religiosity of some ustaz, ustazah
Meanwhile, Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim stressed that Malaysia was a multi-religious society and all Malaysians should have a basic understanding of each other’s religions.
School heads are not supposed to succumb to the over-religiosity of some ustaz and ustazah, says Azimah.
“The best place to learn this is in schools. There are many similarities, qualities and values that are shared among the various religions and this should be emphasised.
“However, school heads are not supposed to succumb to the over-religiosity of some ustaz and ustazah, else these heads have failed as a school leader,” Azimah said.
At the forum on Tuesday, Razak also blamed the lack of political will to tackle the issue.
“Religion is now prominent in our schools. There is too much religion in the system, but no politician will dare say it. Someone will accuse them of being anti-Islam.
“Which politician in his right mind will dare say it? We have imprisoned ourselves in this dilemma,” he said.
Also at the forum was Khazanah Nasional Berhad adviser and consultant (education) Satinah Syed Saleh, who related an experience where she was taken aback when the recitation of Quranic verses was carried out during recess time at a national school.
She said that while the sounding of the Azan was fine, she asked how the non-Muslims would feel with the recitation going on throughout recess time.
“I am a Muslim. You do not have to be extreme to embrace your religion. It does not augur well with the system.
“So, you cannot blame the Chinese and Indians for getting out of the system,” she said.

However, Satinah, who was previously the director of private education with the education ministry, said that the ministry was doing what it could to address the situation. -FMT

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