KUALA LUMPUR, 7 April – The Ministry of Education (MOE) and Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, Egypt are in the final stages of amending the existing agreement with the aim of improving the implementation of the Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) program and evaluation.
Senior Education Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said the amendment is aimed at ensuring that STAM graduates are among those of high quality and able to continue their studies at Al-Azhar University.
“The MOE and Al-Azhar Al-Sharif signed an agreement on studies and culture on November 18, 1999, with the aim of improving the admission of Malaysian students to Al-Azhar University.
“As part of this agreement, the MOE was tasked with conducting the STAM review with the cooperation of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif. The Higher Religious Certificate was fully coordinated according to the Maahad Bu`uth Islamiyyah curriculum developed by Al-Azhar,” he said.
He said this in a speech delivered during the Iftar Ramadan event in conjunction with the celebration of World Al-Azhar Day and the 10th anniversary of the World Association of Al-Azhar Graduates Malaysia (WOAG Malaysia ). Also in attendance were Senator Datuk Idris Ahmad, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), and WOAG Malaysia Chairman Prof. Datuk Mohd Fakhrudin Abdul Mukti.
Radzi said that through the agreement, STAM graduates could use the certificate to apply for admission to Al-Azhar University and higher education institutions across the country in the field of Islamic studies and Arabic.
He said that for the period 2000 to 2020, a total of 125,600 candidates applied for STAM.
Meanwhile, he said Al-Azhar alumni in Malaysia have brought changes to the Islamic education system in the country, including introducing the Azhari curriculum which was widely implemented in public religious schools as well than in private religious schools.
“For the purposes of program coordination, the MOE has worked with the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) and the state religious authorities to coordinate the Azhari program for each state and develop the integrated Dini (early) program ( KBD) as a national program from form one to form five.
“This coordination involves a more structured teaching and learning process to produce students who are balanced and excellent academically and religiously. This balance can provide a generation of Islamic scholars capable of competing globally,” he said. — Bernama