KOTA KINABALU: The Upko-initiated Bible Knowledge course received overwhelming response with nearly 100 teachers from more than 30 schools attending it on Saturday.
Officiating at the inaugural programme at SM All Saints library here, Upko acting President Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau was heartened to note the encouraging response from the teaching fraternity.
Tangau who is also Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation was confident that the enthusiasm shown by the teachers would further boost efforts to ensure more students take up Bible Knowledge as an elective subject in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).
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 17 to 10 in 2010.
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 similar status.
“We knew the challenges when the Government gave the nod ….. so Bernard said Upko will do its part and he offered to provide the text books,” he said.
He said now it was also a challenge to increase the number of students taking up the subject particularly in Sabah.
As for the allowance for the teachers, Tangau suggested that the schools set up a fund similar to the one he launched in SM St James Tenghilan recently.
Tangau personally handed the text books to the participants while Sabah Council of Churches President, Rev Datuk Jerry Dusing presented them with the Borneo language version Bible.
Tangau and Rev. Jerry Dusing, left, with the participants of the Bible Knowledge course.