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Permission on reopening of private tahfiz schools, institutions in final decision process

KUALA LUMPUR: The permission for the reopening of all registered private tahfiz schools and institutions is in the final decision process, pending discussions with the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), according to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.

"The reopening of private tahfiz schools and institutions will be discussed by the National Security Council (MKN) and will be finalised with inputs from Jakim and state governments.

"InsyaAllah we will assess (the situation) soon, after due consideration because we should take into account the recommendations by Ministry of Health (MoH), MKN and also the state governments," he told reporters here today.

He was met after visiting Sekolah Menengah Integrasi Sains Tahfiz (SMISTA) and Sekolah Menengah Agama Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (SMAIWP) to monitor the reopening of the schools and the teaching and learning process in the new normal post-COVID-19.

Zulkifli said to prevent the emergence of another cluster of COVID-19 in tahfiz schools, they would have to study every aspect before allowing private tahfiz schools and institutions to resume operations.

As of yesterday, the number of positive COVID-19 cases detected among tahfiz and madrasah students, teachers and staff members stood at 19,788 of 23,946 individuals screened.

Meanwhile, Zulkifli said he was satisfied with the compliance of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Ministry of Education (MOE), in both schools he visited today.

"For me, this is an achievement that shows we can live in the new normal and take steps in a situation where other countries are still struggling with COVID-19, but we have started to open our schools in stages.

He added that it was the right move for MOE to take, exercising caution via the SOP in order to continue with education and impart knowledge despite the COVID-19 pandemic.