PN urged not to follow PH’s decision to implement khat lessons in Chinese primary schools

Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing

KUCHING, Nov 24: SUPP Central Education Bureau has reiterated its strong objection to the attempt to include ‘tulisan seni khat’ or khat calligraphy in the Bahasa Malaysia (BM) subject at Chinese primary schools (SJKC) which is expected to be rolled out next year.

Highlighting this, bureau chief Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing expressed disappointment with the Ministry of Education (MOE) in following the decision made by the former Pakatan Harapan (PH) government on the teaching of khat calligraphy for Primary Five at all SJKC.

“SUPP is not against seni khat, but is objecting it being injected into SJKC subjects, because it brings no benefit to the students.

“Moreover, the Chinese community was unfavourable about introducing seni khat in SJKC as it may jeopardise Chinese schools’ structure, yet MOE ignored these voices and still determined to implement it,” he asserted in a statement today.

Ding emphasised that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government now has absolute authority to object to unfavourable policies or policies that could cause uneasiness among ethnic groups in the country.

“Again, SUPP (Sarawak United Peoples’ Party) urges the PN government to put on hold or cancel the former PH government’s decision to teach seni khat in SJKC,” he added.

He pointed out that the state’s Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee had said that the teaching of Jawi writing for Primary Five pupils starting next year was not compulsory, citing a letter by MOE dated Dec 20, 2019.

“The letter clearly stated that the teaching of Jawi could only be implemented if the respective Parent-Teacher Association (PTAs) or Board of Management (of the Chinese schools) agree to it,” he said.

Of the total of 222 SJKC in Sarawak, Ding revealed, only one school accepted the teaching of Jawi according to a survey conducted, due to the fact that the school has Bumiputera students.

“As such, the survey clearly showed that the majority of Chinese parents do not accept and reject the teaching of Jawi in schools.

“We also strongly object to the attempt to force SJKC to implement seni khat lessons in primary school subjects, no matter whether such a decision was made during the former PH federal government or the current PN government,” he reiterated.

SUPP, he continued, also strongly objected to any policy which may jeopardise the development of Chinese education.

“We hope that the Chinese community and parents can come together to supervise MOE’s policies, especially the implementation of the teaching of seni khat in schools by next year.

“We can not let such policy jeopardise Chinese schools’ development,” he added. — DayakDaily