08 July, 2010


I refer to the statement today by Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi in Dewan Rakyat that there is no necessity to make Islamic Studies and Moral Studies a core Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendan (UPSR) subject. He said that requiring students to pass the two subjects would not guarantee that they would practise what they learned from them.

According to him, character development and good moral values can be imparted more effectively through education and not by including the subjects in examination.

He was replying to Hamim Samuri (BN-Ledang) on whether the government had plans to make the two subjects as core UPSR subjects.

Nevertheless, the Deputy Education Minister said although Islamic Studies and Moral Studies will not be an examination subject, it was compulsory for Muslims students to take Islamic Studies and for non-Muslims students to take Moral Studies.

I fully agree with the reasoning given by the Deputy Education Minister that Islamic Studies and Moral Studies should not be included as an examination subject for UPSR.

On the same reasoning, I suggest to the Ministry of Education that both the Islamic Studies and Moral Studies should also be excluded as the core subject for the SPM and PMR examination.

Both the Islamic Studies and Moral Studies should still be taught in secondary schools but the approach should not be examination orientated.

A student scoring A+ in either the Islamic Studies or Moral Studies does not necessary mean that the student holds higher Islamic or Moral values than a student who only obtained a C.

The Islamic or Moral values of any student cannot be assessed by any written examination.

So, it would be unfortunate for students who obtained 8A+ in SPM but their Islamic or Moral values are wrongly assessed as grade C. Such student would then be unfairly deprived of the chance to obtain scholarships such as those awarded by Public Service Department or any other bodies.

In some other instances, such unfair assessment of the student’s Islamic or Moral values may even affect the entry of students in public universities.