Dhivehi and Islam will remain mandatory subjects at A’Level despite earlier plans by the Education Ministry’s steering committee to make them optional.
Controversy over the proposal led for condemnation of former Education Ministry Dr Mustafa Luthfy by religious groups and calls for his dismissal by the opposition last year.
A’Level students typically study between four to five subjects. Some university prerequisites demand as many as 3-4 subjects, particularly for university-level science courses. Luthfy had suggested that making the subjects optional would give A’Level students greater ability to pursue careers of their choosing, and become “world citizens”.
However he was accused of undermining the cultural and religious foundations of the country by the Adhaalath Party, an MDP coalition partner that runs the Islamic Ministry.
Member of the Steering Committee Dr Naashia Mohamed told Haveeru that the committee voted in favour of the decision after reviewing the practice in other countries.
“In most Islamic countries, the Islamic studies subject is compulsory for the students. So we decided to keep the current policy, under which these two subjects are compulsory for all the students,” she told Haveeru.
Education Ministry’s decision to make Dhivehi language and Islamic studies optional at higher secondary level sparked a public controversy and condemnations by the opposition as well as the religious conservative Adaalat Party of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) coalition government.