ACS: No khat lesson for non-Muslim students in Sarawak, please

Ornate church interior. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, Aug 29:  The Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) is requesting that khat lesson neither be introduced or made compulsory for non-Muslim students in Sarawak.

It has also requested for more teachers trained in mathematics and science subjects to be sent to Sarawak instead of khat or Jawi teachers.

ACS has expressed its deep concern on the Ministry of Education’s initial plan to introduce khat into the Bahasa Malaysia subject syllabus to Primary 4 students next year. 

“…ACS requests that Khat or ‘the Khat lessons that have been renamed Jawi scripts,’ be not introduced nor made compulsory for non-Muslim students in Sarawak who are learning the Bahasa Malaysia national language in Rumi,” said ACS in a statement undersigned by ACS chairman Archbishop Simon Poh.

ACS asserted that the association was not against learning of Arabic, Jawi or Khat as the latter is more appropriate as an art form rather than within a language subject. 

“Furthermore, for the rural primary schools in Sarawak, the immediate priority should be to repair the dilapidated government schools and to improve the education standard of these rural children.”

ACS thus appeals to the Federal Ministry of Education to give priority in Sarawak for the deployment of more trained teachers in mathematics and science subjects instead of new teachers for Khat or Jawi scripts. 

“ACS believes that investment in Science and Mathematics subjects will provide the foundation for our children’s future secondary years and for a better Malaysia.”

“ACS is committed to working for peace, harmony, unity, integrity, social development and well-being for all Malaysians as we celebrate our National Day and Malaysia Day 2019 with the theme ‘Sayangi Malaysiaku: Malaysia Bersih’,” said Poh. — DayakDaily