KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry will follow the 2019 Cabinet decision on the learning of Jawi calligraphy for national and vernacular schools, the Dewan Rakyat was told.
Deputy Education Minister Muslimin Yahaya said the ministry will implement the Cabinet decision reached on Aug 14,2019, where Jawi calligraphy will be continued at national and vernacular schools.
"That was the decision made by the Cabinet and we at the Education Ministry will implement the Cabinet decision," he said in reply to a supplementary question from Sabri Azit (PAS-Jerai) during Question Time on Monday (Dec 7).
Sabri had asked the Education Ministry whether there would be any changes in learning Jawi calligraphy at schools in 2021.
In August 2019, online portal Free Malaysia Today reported that the Cabinet had decided that khat lessons will be renamed Jawi and will be introduced in the syllabus for Year 4 primary school pupils in vernacular schools.
However, it will be optional and will not be a test subject.
On the teaching of Jawi, Muslimin said that students would be only taught to recognise calligraphy and not to write or read it.
"Regarding the Jawi calligraphy lessons, we only teach them how to recognise it. We do not teach them all the 32 letters in the Jawi alphabet or how to join the vocals and consonants," he said.
Muslimin then gave an example, saying that there is Jawi writing on Malaysian bank notes.
"Jawi calligraphy is part of our art language. We want the rakyat to understand our heritage and understand our history," he said.
To the initial question, he said the reading and writing skills for Jawi is still given priority at the high school level through the teaching and learning (PdP) of Islamic studies.
"The usage of Jawi in the textbook for Islamic studies from Form 1 to Form 5 is aimed at improving and strengthening students' skills in mastering it," he added.