Religious NGO Jamiyyathulsalaf has called for the resignation of Education Minister Dr Musthafa Luthfy, and claimed that Arabiyya is the only Maldivian school “with an adequate education policy.”
“The whole education policy of the Maldives has been designed in a way that moves the students further from the religion,” President of Salaf Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Ibrahim said today.
“As a consequence, students have become poorly educated. If you refer to the results of the students who pass, anyone will understand that.”
Sheikh Abdulla said there was only one school in the Maldives that has an adequate educational policy.
“That school would be Arabiyya School. The School teaches Arab, Hadith, Sunnah of the prophet and the Quran,” Sheikh Abdulla said.
Sheikh Abdulla said the idea of introducing co-educational policy was completely unacceptable.
“There will be social and disciplinary issues that students would have to face if the policy was introduced,” he said. “There will also be consequences for teachers.”
He also warned that “a coalition of NGOs” was preparing to be on standby to come out and demonstrate against the change, if necessary.
Minister of Education Dr Musthafa Luthfy told Minivan News that co-education has been a part of the Maldivian education system for a long time.
“When we studied at ‘Edhuruge’ [traditional places of learning, where classes were held at a teacher’s house] there were girls and boys mixed,” said Dr Musthafa. “There are currently only four schools in the Maldives that is not Co-educational.”
Dr Musthafa said his idea was to develop an integrated educational system that comprised of science, commerce, arts and aesthetics.
“That is an educational system that will contain drawing, music, exercise and sports, plus praying, reciting of the Quran and other religious events,” he said. “This type of policy is known to increase students’ intellectual ability and skills. If anyone is in doubt, they can ask parents and school managements whether students have moved further away from religion or closer to it after I assumed office,” he said.
Luthfy has previously come under criticism after the Ministry’s steering committee suggested making Islam and Dhivehi optional for A-Level students. The controversial proposal led to late-night protests outside Luthfy’s house and an eventual no-confidence motion in parliament, which was annulled when President’s Nasheed’s entire cabinet resigned in protest at parliamentary obstruction.