Madius presenting the books to representatives of the 31 students taking up Bible Knowledge at SM St James.
TENGHILAN: United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) is making every effort to ensure Bible Knowledge will stay as an elective subject in public examinations.
Its president Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau said the party also wanted to ensure more students taking up Bible Knowledge in their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination.
Bible Knowledge was introduced as an elective subject following unrelenting work by Upko, especially former president and Malaysia’s current Ambassador to the Vatican, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok to push for it following a new policy that reduced the number of subjects a student can sit in the SPM from a maximum of 18 to 10.
However, representatives from MIC and MCA had appealed to the government for Bahasa Tamil and Mandarin to be included as an elective subject, while Dompok who was a Federal cabinet member requested for the Bible Knowledge subject to be given a similar status.
Speaking at the launch of the Bible Knowledge studies at SM St James Tenghilan in conjunction with the school’s speech and prize presentation ceremony here on Wednesday, Madius, who is Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, said the main concern today was the low number of students taking up Bible Knowledge.
Only about 400 students nationwide took it last year, including 50 from Sabah.
“The churches have been asking for it (to be introduced in schools) and Upko has worked hard to get it so now we need support and cooperation from all otherwise the Bible Knowledge subject may be scrapped from the curriculum.”
Madius said Upko was determined to assist and get at least 400 Sabah students to take up Bible Knowledge as an elective subject in SPM from now onwards.
“I am glad to note that SM St James Tenghilan is introducing the Bible Knowledge subject. I was made to understand that there would be 31 Christian students who would sit for the examination next year,” he said.
Towards this end, Madius also provided assistance in the form of Bible Knowledge textbooks to the school principal, Soo Yong Huat.
He also donated a launching grant to the school’s Bible Knowledge fund to assist in paying allowance for the teachers tasked to teach the subject.
Madius hoped the churches and parents would encourage their children to take up Bible Knowledge to promote noble virtues among them.