Last Thursday (Aug 8), Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said Khat writing lesson will stay but the syllabus will be reduced from six pages in the Year 4 Bahasa Malaysia textbook to three pages.
Some media reported that the Jawi-based calligraphy syllabus will become optional for the teachers in vernacular schools to decide, while other media omitted this information or fail to clarify it.
The confusion on this controversial issue continued until the Cabinet meeting today that ended hours ago (Aug 14). According to Malay Mail, Khat calligraphy will now be called as Jawi script and it will only be taught at a basic level.
Education Ministry announced that Jawi script lesson will only carry out after getting the consent from the students and each school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
“In its latest discussion, the Cabinet has decided to maintain its decision last week in that the Jawi script introduction remains, but this will be implemented only if agreed upon by the PTA and the parents and students.
“The ministry also decided that the segment would be named ‘introduction to Jawi script’ and would only be taught on an elective basis to students in Year 4 in 2020, Year 5 in 2021, and Year 6 in 2021 in SJK (vernacular schools),” said the ministry.
“This means Jawi writing will remain an optional topic for vernacular schools,” The Star quoted.
The ministry hoped that this announcement could clear the air and stop all inaccurate information on the matter, NST reported.
Before reaching to this conclusion, this issue was so divisive that it prompted a MP in the Pakatan Harapan coalition to call on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s resignation, FMT reported.
Among the shocking statements Dr Mahathir made in regards to the issue, he had called Dong Zong, a group that protects the interest of Chinese schools nationwide, racist and said only “a small segment of society” disagreed with Khat calligraphy, as reported by The Star.
Malaysiakini also reported Dr Mahathir as saying that they converted the language which followed Jawi scripts into Roman scripts before Merdeka because they knew non-Malays had trouble learning Jawi.
“Malays still need to learn Jawi because they need to read the Quran. Why do we need to fight? We have given special consideration to the interest of non-Malays.”
With so much racial tension in Malaysia lately, we hope we can finally put this behind us now.
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