Schoolkids tickled pink by Pikachu

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 16, 2016 a person wearing a costume of Pikachu, a Pokemon character, walks on the Champs de Mars near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. - Twenty-five years after Pokemon first began delighting children and adults alike, the phenomenon in 2021 is still capturing hearts, with smartphone craze Pokemon Go enjoying record success in virus-hit 2020. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY 'JAPAN-ENTERTAINMENT-POKEMON-GAMES' FOCUS BY KATIE FORSTER AND MATHIAS CENA


YEAR One pupils at SJK (C) Aulong, Taiping, were excited to be greeted by Pikachu on their first day at school on Monday, China Press reported.

The school senior assistant had dressed up as the iconic yellow electric mouse from the popular Pokemon franchise in a bid to soothe their anxiety.

According to headmaster Lin Rui Qin, the school would usually hold an orientation day to welcome its Year One pupils.

They were unable to carry it out this year, making it hard for the seven-year-olds to adapt to the new environment, she said.

“Many of them got curious and excited after seeing our senior assistant dressed up in a Pikachu costume. I believe their anxiety vanished immediately,” she added.

The school started the practice in 2018 when one of its teachers dressed up as Captain America to welcome new students.

> According to a survey conducted by the Johor Chinese School Committees Association (Dong Zong), 98.15% out of 216 Chinese vernacular schools in the state do not agree to Jawi calligraphy being included in Year Four Bahasa Malaysia textbooks, Sin Chew Daily reported.

Its chairman Tan Tai Kim, who is also Dong Zong president, urged school boards in the state to stand firm by their choice as the policy went against the spirit of diversity in Malaysia.

He added that the four schools that had agreed to its implementation had fewer than 10 students, with the majority made up of non-Chinese.

Tan said according to a similar survey by the Education Ministry last year involving 1,297 Chinese vernacular schools, 97.3% or 1,265 of them rejected its implementation.

Only 2.7% or 32 schools had agreed.

“The ministry’s survey clearly showed that many parents do not agree with the move. We hope the ministry will review the implementation,” he said.

Tan said Dong Zong had nothing against Jawi calligraphy but the way it was to be implemented.

Earlier, it was announced that six pages of Jawi calligraphy were planned to be introduced in Year Four Bahasa Melayu textbooks beginning last year but this had met with opposition from educationist groups such as Dong Zong and Jiao Zong.

Last December, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mah Hang

Soon proposed introducing a multilingual resource manual that would include the native languages of Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak among primary pupils rather than Jawi calligraphy alone.

The above articles are compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a >, it denotes a separate news item.

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