Jakim developing new method to replace cancelled UPKK test


THE Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) is developing a new method to replace the written KAFA Class Assessment Test (UPKK) which has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said the method must be suited to the current situation in the country which is still not free of the deadly pandemic.

“Jakim is fully aware that the assessment is an important instrument and a core of religious education, we are developing the most suitable method for the students to be announced soon,” he said during a question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today.

He was replying to a supplementary question from Nurul Izzah Anwar (PH-Permatang Pauh) who wanted to know whether the ministry is holding discussions with religious school stakeholders to replace the cancelled the UPKK to make sure that assessment is not disrupted.

On April 17, Jakim decided to cancel the UPKK for written subjects scheduled from Sept 28 to Oct 1.

Meanwhile, in reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof (PH-Parit Buntar) on the development of the National Tahfiz Council (MTN), Ahmad Marzuk said the government was developing several standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the MTN.

“It includes the terms and standard references of MTN, rating standardisation and SOPs for huffaz (Quran memoriser) for tahfiz institutions to ensure security and certification,” he said.

He said the SOPs will be announced soon.

Meanwhile, on Mujahid’s original question on the allocation to religious schools, tahfiz and pondok learning institutions in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, Ahmad Marzuk said in 2017, a special allocation of RM80 million was given, comprising RM50 million to pondok institutions and RM30 million to tahfiz.

“In 2018, RM75 million was allocated (involving RM50 million to pondok and RM25 million to tahfiz institutions) while in 2019, RM100 million was allocated (RM25 million to pondok, RM50 million to tahfiz institutions and RM25 million to religious schools),” he said.

He said the 2020 Budget approved a special allocation of RM100 million, with RM25 million for pondok, RM50 million for tahfiz institution and RM25 million for religious schools.