On Thursday, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih expressed his strong commitment to establishing the Islamic University of Maldives (IUM) as a highly regarded institution for Islamic education in the region.
At the 2nd session of the IUM Convocation 2023, held at the university’s Conference Hall, President Solih, accompanied by First Lady Fazna Ahmed, highlighted the administration’s dedication to promoting the noble values of Islam through the university.
President Solih emphasized the importance of IUM in instilling virtuous Islamic principles in its students. He also acknowledged the collaborative efforts between IUM and the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in safeguarding the Maldives against the influence of religious extremism.
Furthermore, the President reiterated the administration’s commitment to establishing and improving modern education by providing comprehensive educational opportunities throughout the country. He disclosed that a significant portion of this year’s annual state budget, amounting to MVR4.6 billion (10.9% of the budget), has been allocated to the development of education.
Particularly noteworthy is the allocation of MVR857 million from these funds to advance higher secondary education. President Solih further highlighted the administration’s various initiatives to cultivate a skilled workforce that meets the country’s needs, including the free degree program and low-interest student loans.
The President announced that the Pay Commission and the Ministry of Finance have recently finalized a salary revision for lecturers at IUM, indicating an imminent improvement in their remuneration. He also revealed that an enhanced salary and vacation policy framework for Imams would be implemented soon. Additionally, he assured that improved allowances for individuals with special needs would be disbursed in June as scheduled.
During the convocation ceremony, a total of 709 students graduated from diverse academic programs at the university. Among the graduates, nine students received the prestigious Best Student Awards. Furthermore, 78 Imams successfully completed their studies through the degree program initiated by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in collaboration with IUM in 2020.
The President personally presented awards to the graduating Imams and the recipients of the Best Student Awards, while the First Lady awarded the recipients of the Master of Teaching and Learning program.