The Permata Insan programme, which emphasises educating children to understand and practise the fundamentals of Quranic teachings, aims to mould future Muslim technocrats in the country.
National Permata Policy Executive Committee chairman Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor said the programme was designed holistically, specially for gifted students to focus on Islamic studies, especially on the teachings of the Quran.
"It is important for these students to understand and internalise the importance of the Quran as a source of knowledge, especially in science and human sciences.
"The programme's syllabus emphasis is on students to learn the Quran in depth as well as to look at its views on biology, botany, bioagriculture, physics, mathematics and science," she said after launching the Permata Insan centre at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), near here, yesterday.
Also present were Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Jamil Khir Baharom, USIM vice-chancellor Datuk Muhammad Muda and Adviser to the Higher Education Minister of Saudi Arabia and member of the King Abdul Aziz University Organisation of Giftedness Professor Dr Auda Al Johani.
The Permata Insan programme, which will be administered by USIM for students aged between 8 and 11, is the fourth programme set up under the Permata national initiative.
Rosmah explained that the programme will select students through the first screening test which will take place from this month to May.
"Those who make it through the first round, will be tested again through another round of screening called USIM1, to gauge their level of intelligence in Islamic studies.
"The pilot project will select 50 gifted students in Islamic studies from all over the country," she said.
The prime minister's wife also said the programme administrators would be working closely with the King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
"With this collaboration, we hope to be able to send some gifted students there for a summer camp (Jeddah) in the near future just like the Permata Pintar programme where five students were sent to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youths (JHU-CTY) in the United States for a three-week summer camp in June.
"The exposure will help mould gifted students into outstanding intellectuals based on the learning modules used by the university," she said.