President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih states he hopes to make the Islamic University of Maldives (IUM the top regional institution for Islamic education and a center dedicated to promoting the noble values of Islam.
He made the remark while speaking at the second session of the IUM Convocation 2023 held at IUM's Conference Hall on Thursday.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Solih stressed the significance of IUM in cultivating virtuous Islamic values among its students.
He said that his administration is committed to establishing and enhancing modern education by providing comprehensive educational opportunities across the nation.
“Though the university may be eight years old, the actual work of this university began 43 years ago, with the Mauhadhul Dhiraasathul Islamiyya. Though the Mauhadh turned to Kulliyya, and now to a university – it is the same place. The change is that of the level of development,” he said.
President Solih said that a significant portion of this year's annual state budget, specifically MVR 4.6 billion, or 10.9 per cent, has been allocated to education development. MVR 857 million has been designated from these funds to advance higher secondary education.
He highlighted his administration's initiatives to cultivate human resources that meet national requirements, exemplified by programs such as the free degree program and low-interest student loans.
“This university, too, plays a key role in fulfilling this objective. Especially in educating the Maldivian youth on the true Islamic faith. I also note the effective work this university has been doing in collaboration with the National Counter Terrorism Center in safeguarding the Maldives against the spread of religious extremism,” he said.
Speaking further, President Solih said that the Pay Commission and the Ministry of Finance had recently finalized the salary revision for lecturers at IUM, signifying an imminent improvement in their remuneration.
He also announced that his administration would soon implement an enhanced salary and vacation policy framework for imams.
He also assured that the improved allowances for individuals with special needs would be disbursed in June as scheduled.
During the ceremony, 709 students successfully graduated from academic programs at the university. Among the graduates, nine students were honored with the Best Student Awards.
78 imams completed their studies through the degree program initiated by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in collaboration with IUM in 2020.