Back when I was a student in the Center for Higher Secondary Education (CHSE), Islam and Dhivehi were compulsory subjects ... both the subjects were taught twice a week unlike the other subjects which had at least four class per week ... some subjects were there everyday ... I still remember one topic that was taught in Islam in 12th standard "Nidhumuge Aadha thah" Sleeping manners ... I still can't believe that I had to study it in the 12th grade ... LOL ...
Tonight people had gathered around Education Minister Musthafa Luthufee's residence, calling him to reconsider the decision of the Ministry on making Islam and Dhivehi optional subjects for Higher secondary Schools. Both the subjects were formally compulsory for Higher Secondary Schools.
Well ... As a Maldivian and as someone who cares about the education system in Maldives, I think this is a mistake that the Education ministry is doing. Maldives being a 100% Muslim country (as per my knowledge so far) I really think that Islamic Studies should be a must for all students till they complete their High School or Higher Secondary Schooling.
Already religious faith is an area where most Maldivians seem to be lost. Proper teaching of Islam is very important in the country, BUT not the rather extreme radical Islamic teachings.
Belonging to the Maldivian youth society, I strongly believe that Islam should be taught in schools till 12th standard and should be compulsory. HOWEVER I also believe that the current Islamic Studies Curriculum needs to be revised and taught in a way that students will be able to understand their religion properly and NOT TO BE SCARED of it but to love it ... I do not support the radical approach some teachers take in this subject. This is indeed a sensitive subject. The youth in Maldives need Islamic values and principle in themselves and in their every day life. As a member of that youth society in Maldives I call the ministry NOT TO DESTROY THIS SMALL HOPE FOR A BETTER YOUTH in the country!!
As for the Subject Dhivehi, has it occurred to anyone that this is a language spoken by only 300,000 people on the surface of the world?? Why destroy a language with history, culture and tradition?? What is there to achieve??
Teaching the correct usage of our mother tongue, Dhivehi is not wrong and is not a shameful thing. It is a shame that students are not able to speak in their mother tongue and use it correctly. We need to appreciate what is our own. Teaching Dhivehi as a language is necessary because it is simply our own, it's simply our language ... If we don't teach our language as a compulsory language up to higher secondary, who else will??
However, I do support teaching Dhivehi Literature as a separate subject that can be made optional BUT Dhivehi Language should be taught as a compulsory subject for students till the 12th standard.
Even today it's sad to see that high level people in the government are not able to speak in proper Dhivehi ... If the Ministry makes Dhivehi an optional language in Higher secondary schools the ministry is given the green signal to produce another generation of BROKEN DHIVEHI users.
The Ministry needs to be more responsible than this, for crying out loud, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE FUTURE GENERATIONS, we are entitled to pass down our language and this truly remarkable faith to them with proper guidance and proper care. To make this possible it is important that we teach to our children ... to our youth ... to our future leaders and to our future generations a Faith that will lead our lives and a language that is part of who we are.