Controversial Jawi lessons to proceed at all SK, SJK

KUALA LUMPUR: Jawi lessons at both national and vernacular schools (SK and SJK) will be carried out as planned, Deputy Education Minister Muslimin Yahaya said.

According to him, the decision on controversial Jawi lessons was made by Cabinet during a meeting on Aug 14 last year.

"This was the decision made by Cabinet Ministers, so basically, we will follow the instructions decided by Cabinet.

"The element of strengthening Jawi among students is implemented through enriching activities such as creating new Jawi modules that will be easier and attractive to students who are not well-versed in Jawi," he said.

Muslimin said this in response to a question by Sabri Azit (Perikatan Nasional-Jerai) who asked if the government is planning on continuing planned Jawi lessons at both national and vernacular schools.

During the previous Pakatan Harapan administration, the government had decided that khat lessons would be renamed Jawi, and that it would be introduced in the syllabus for Year 4 primary school pupils in vernacular schools.

Following criticism from educational groups, the government later announced that Jawi was optional and would not be a test subject.

Under former Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik, several policies were introduced that angered the public. Apart from the Jawi-khat issue, there was also the introduction of black shoes for students.

Maszlee's well-intentioned move of introducing free breakfasts for all primary school students was also shot down as a waste of government funds that most felt should go towards improving school infrastructure instead.

At one point, there was an online petition with almost 160,000 signatures calling for Maszlee to be replaced.

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