KUANTAN: The Pahang Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (Muip) has ordered the closure of a tahfiz school in Kampung Kuala Kuang in Lanchang, Temerloh, where a 7-year-old student died on Thursday from alleged abuse by his schoolmates.
The order was made after it was discovered that the tahfiz had been operating without a permit.
"Based on our records, the operators had never submitted any documents or made any applications to register the religious centre since it started operating early this year.
“I have already signed the directive for the centre to be closed after realising it was facing several issues.
"To open a tahfiz centre, one has to get the necessary approvals. In this case, the operator was aware of the requirements, but failed to take proper action," Muip deputy president Datuk Seri Wan Abdul Wahid Wan Hassan said when contacted today.
He said checks also revealed that the tahfiz had only one teacher who may not have been qualified to teach.
"We could not ascertain if the teacher had obtained a certificate in tahfiz education. This is one of several aspects that tahfiz centres must make sure of before they can get Muip’s approval to enroll students. We also look into the subjects, syllabus and curriculum offered.
"There are also the safety aspects that we are concerned about. There had been numerous incidents involving tahfiz centres, including fire outbreaks. We do not want to put lives at risk," he added.
In the incident on Nov 7, Mohammad Aimin Nurul Amin was found with severe bruises on his body and face. He died at the Lanchang health clinic in Temerloh at about 2pm.
Three students, including the victim's stepbrother, all 13-years-old, have been picked up to assist in investigations.
It was previously reported that the Pahang government will introduce a set of guidelines for some 80 Maahad Tahfiz (religious schools) operating in the state to safeguard the welfare of their students.
The then-Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob had said that the set of recommendations would be drafted following a brainstorming session and seminar between the religious school administrators and the state government.
Meanwhile, Wan Abdul Wahid said operators of unregistered tahfiz centres
need to obtain a licence before Dec 31 this year.
“Beginning January next year, Muip will close down all centres that fail to do so,” he added.