The introduction of Jawi calligraphy in schools caused uproar among certain groups

KUALA LUMPUR: The introduction of khat or Jawi calligraphy as part of Bahasa Melayu subject for Year Four pupils from next year (2020) as announced by the Education Ministry recently has caused uproar amongst certain groups in the society.

The groups stressed that the khat should not be forced on pupils but as an optional subject. They said it will be a burden to the pupils and teachers for the extra “learning hours” and instead only focus on Bahasa Melayu.

The Minister of Education, Dr. Mazlee Malik on Sunday had said Jawi calligraphy form would not be part of any examinations.

Following that the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said, the decision would go ahead next year as the objections came from a small segment in the society.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the government took note of the concerns of the public on the matter, especially among the Chinese community.

She said, there would be a deep discussion on the matter with the Prime Minister even though Dr Mahathir Mohamad had already made a statement.

“Although a decision has been made, the government is aware of the concerns being raised in public,” she said.

On another development, the Chinese Educationist groups, Dong Zong and Jiao Zong urged the ministry of Education to postpone the teaching of khat as part of the Bahasa Melayu subject until all matters have been clarified.

Ten other Chinese guilds and Tamil education groups in a joint press conference want the government to give details on how the Jawi calligraphy would be introduced in the Chinese and Tamil primary schools.

Dong Zong President, Tan Tai Kim who read the joint statement calling on the Education Ministry to announce the part of the language syllabus as well as the Standard Curriculum and Assessment Document – which detailed the standards by which a subject should be taught – that would have to be amended.

“This is important to placate public worries and to ensure that the implementation meets the needs of the pupils. We hope the ministry will engage all relevant groups before making any hasty decision,” he said as quoted by Star Online.

A representative from Tamil Foundation Malaysia said it was agreeable with the teaching of khat as long as this does not affect the pupils’ learning of the Malay language.

“As the learning hours for the national language are less in vernacular schools compared to Sekolah Kebangsaan, we don’t want to jeopardise our pupils.

“In fact,we want to increase the learning time for the subject,” he said.

On Monday evening, the DAP leaders had a meeting on the government’s proposal to introduce khat /Jawi calligraphy to the Year Four pupils in 2020.

The meeting was chaired by Secretary-General, Lim Guan Eng and also present was Deputy Chairman, Gobind Singh Deo and DAP National Organising Secretary, Anthony Loke.

Yu Hui also attended the meeting and he was amongst DAP leaders who made statements and was supported by 100 DAP branches that protested the proposal to introduce khat and Jawi in schools next year.

According to Yu Hui the meeting had discussed the issue raised by the grassroots of DAP relating to the government’s proposal.

DAP Chairman, Tan Kok Wai who met the media said the meeting had discussed on a very difficult issue, as quoted by Utusan Online. –Malaysia World News.

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