Khat could be a burden to students, says Mah

  • Nation
  • Monday, 05 Aug 2019

IPOH: Implementing khat or Jawi calligraphy as part of the syllabus in Bahasa Melayu can be a burden to students, says MCA deputy president Dr Mah Hang Soon.

Learning calligraphy could be difficult not only for those in vernacular schools but also for teachers and parents, he said.

“For these students, they need to master three languages, which is already very tough.

“Not many of them can excel in the language subjects and now they have to learn khat?” he said when met after attending the Perak MCA Youth annual general meeting yesterday.

Dr Mah said in addition, parents would have to buy khat calligraphy material for their children and this could add to the burden of poor families.

“Teachers also need to be well-versed in the calligraphy,” he said.

Dr Mah agreed khat is part of Malay culture but to teach the art in vernacular schools could cause some problems.

“Why don’t they teach khat as part of the art subject under

the extracurricular programme instead?” he suggested.

In George Town, Penang MCA chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said the issue was not whether the pupils would be tested on their writing skills during examination.

He expressed similar concerns as Mah’s.

“Students in Chinese primary schools already have to learn three languages. Mandarin is their mother tongue and they are already bogged down with so many things to learn.

“So introducing khat in the Bahasa Melayu curriculum will add on to their burden,” he said when contacted.

Tan was responding to Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik’s assurance that the pupils would not be tested on their khat writing skills during examinations.

In Johor Baru, Johor PAS is backing the move to teach khat calligraphy as part of the Bahasa Melayu syllabus for Year Four pupils.

State commissioner Abdullah Husin congratulated the Education Ministry on strengthening the heritage by introducing khat in primary schools, starting next year.

“Based on our survey, there should not be any reason to object to learning the art, as it is only taught five or six times in a year.

“Only six pages out of a total of 156 pages are allocated to learn khat. It is not compulsory and will not be tested in any examination,” he said yesterday.
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khat , Jawi calligraphy , Mah Hang Soon


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