Lifelong Islamic education plan

BALANCED: DPM launches scheme that combines skills training, religious education

LEDANG: DEPUTY Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday launched the Lifelong Islamic Education Programme, or PISH, with  community colleges as the driving force behind its implementation.

Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said the programme combined skills training and religious education to produce balanced human capital in worldly and spiritual pursuits.

“At the initial stage, this Islamic education programme was started at selected places, but we’ve decided that PISH be made a national policy.”

He said this after launching the programme at Ledang Community College here yesterday.

Present were Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Community College Education Department director-general Datuk Amir Mohd Noor.

Through PISH, related courses would be extended to 90 community colleges, besides being conducted at local community halls and mosques.

PISH would be implemented in phases, with the first phase starting this year with the theme “Building Relations and Forging Unity”.

Muhyiddin said this phase involved collaboration between the training institutions and Islamic Studies and Education Coordination Advisory Board (LEPAI), Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), state Islamic religious councils, tahfiz institutions, pondok schools and non-governmental organisations.

“The sharing of resources encompasses finance, teaching staff, and development of modules, infrastructure and facilities, which will be for joint usage, in line with the government’s aim of saving costs through the blue ocean strategy approach.”

He said the second phase would begin next year with the theme “Boosting Human Talents” with three programmes offered to target groups and the community.

Muhyiddin said there would be joint certification involving the collaborating agencies, with the programme having a “free and easy at the community college” concept, which would enable the participants to attend short courses on weekends and contemporary Islamic learning programmes with more focus on fardu kifayah (communally obligatory).

At the launch, Muhyiddin announced that LEPAI chairman Tan Sri Mohd Yusof Noor had been appointed as PISH adviser, based on his expertise and experience in the aspect of coordinating Islamic education in Malaysia.

He said community colleges were chosen to be the institutions to carry out the programme because they had the expertise in lifelong learning programmes.

Muhyiddin said students completing courses at the community colleges would not only gain qualifications and a certificate, but would acquire more religious knowledge.

Muhyiddin said from 2011 until 2013, a total of 22,082 people had attended short-term Islamic education courses at the community colleges nationwide.

In Pagoh, Muhyddin launched the 1Malaysia Family Care Charity Tour, which he described as one of the ways to fuel the spirit of voluntarism in the community.

“In six years, it will be 2020 and one of the targets of Vision 2020 is to create a caring community.”

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at an exhibition booth after the launch of the Lifelong Islamic Education Programme at Ledang Community College in Johor yesterday. Pic by Syarafiq Abd Samad

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