Khat will be optional for vernacular schoolteachers, Cabinet decides (updated)

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 08 Aug 2019

PUTRAJAYA: Chinese and Tamil vernacular school teachers have the freedom to choose whether they want to teach khat, says Dr Maszlee Malik.

Khat, or Jawi calligraphy, will now be reduced to three pages from the initial six, the Education Minister told during a press conference here Thursday (Aug 8).

“The Cabinet made a decision to give teachers the power to decide how they want to teach.

“There will not be any form of exams, tests or assessments, ” he added.

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 Four Bahasa Melayu subject next year as scheduled.

In a statement issued at the same time, the Education Ministry said that it hoped that with this Cabinet decision, the introduction of khat would no longer be brought up inaccurately and consequently confuse the public.

It added that it would continue to have a dialogue with all stakeholders for the benefit of the education system in the country.

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.

> This story has been amended to correct some information.

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