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 EDUCATION

Khat will be an activity with three pages – Maszlee

9th August, 2019

PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry stands by its decision to implement khat in vernacular schools, nearly a week after Putrajaya said the Malay-Arabic calligraphy would be made part of the Year 4 Bahasa Melayu syllabus beginning next year.

Education Minister Maszlee Malik said that khat would only be an activity, not a subject in itself, taking up three pages of the textbook.

He also said it would be up to teachers to decide how they want to teach it.

“Khat will go ahead, but will not be included in examinations or tests,” he said at a special press conference here which was also attended by his deputy Teo Nie Ching, the Star reported.

“We hope that with the Cabinet’s decision on khat, the issue will not be raised anymore and create any misunderstanding.”

The move to introduce khat was met with protest from some, including Chinese and Tamil interest groups who said it would not help vernacular school students increase their standard of Malay.

Segments of DAP grassroots office bearers were also against the move.

The ministry previously said that plans to introduce khat – which it called an integral part of Malaysia’s national identity – had been around since 2014.

When asked if students could choose not to learn khat, Maszlee said it would be up to the teacher.

On Sabah and Sarawak’s opposition to khat, Maszlee said the states are part of the country.

“So according to the constitution, education is a federal matter,” he said, reiterating that the move to implement khat is merely a continuation of the decision by the previous administration.

With this decision, vernacular schoolteachers can opt to teach khat if they want to. Teachers at national schools, however, are still required to teach it as part of their Year 4 Bahasa Melayu subject next year as scheduled.

Originally, the Ministry said that the introduction of khat as part of the Bahasa Melayu subject for Year Four pupils would be implemented next year as planned.

It would have involved all primary school students, and would have been done via six out of 164 pages in the new Bahasa Melayu Year Four textbook as part of the language art activities.

Critics said introducing khat would not help pupils improve their Malay language skills, adding that the burden on teachers and pupils should also be considered.

   
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