MUAR: Only half of the approximately 400 Islamic religious schools in the country are categorised as government-assisted religious schools or 'Sekolah Agama Bantuan Kerajaan'.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said that records under the ministry showed there are currently 215 government-assisted religious schools.
"This means half of them are not registered but we will not make it mandatory for them to register.
"The reason being that some of these schools have been around for more than 100 years," he told reporters after a buka puasa gathering organised in conjunction with the "Guru Pembina Negara Bangsa" programme at the Muar Umno building here tonight.
On a separate matter, Mahdzir called on teachers to advance themselves in digital skills to adapt to the current times.
"Students are digital 'natives' while the teachers or older generation are 'digital immigrants'.
"In the past the students only learn from one teacher in a classroom but now they can google and learn from many other sources.
"So teachers need to adopt a new way of teaching. A change of mindset is needed in the digital age," he said.
Mahdzir also announced an allocation of RM4.7 million for a football field with artificial grass for five schools in Sri Menanti subdistrict in Muar.