(File pic) The Education Ministry's plan to introduce silat as a co-curricular activity in schools, and as an elective credit course at universities, should be fully supported, said academics at Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI). NSTP/AIZUDDIN SAAD

KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry's plan to introduce silat as a co-curricular activity in schools, and as an elective credit course at universities, should be fully supported, said academics at Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI).

In a statement released today, UPSI Curriculum Centre Director Dr Mazuki Yassim said the university is ready to step up and offer intensive silat martial arts courses to help the Education Ministry realise its goal of establishing 5,000 silat clubs nationwide.

"UPSI welcomes the Education Ministry's recommendation to implement martial arts as (a) student credit co-curricular course.

“Each semester, a total of 300 UPSI trainee teachers from various programmes enrol in silat courses," he said.

Mazuki said that UPSI's homegrown silat teachers could be a catalyst to ignite and develop interest in the martial arts at other education institutions nationwide.

"UPSI's existing silat expertise can also be shared through intensive short courses for teachers from other schools," he said, adding that martial arts education could produce students who are physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and socially balanced.

Meanwhile, UPSI vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohammad Shatar Sabran said that any Malay-heritage activity should be prioritised as a co-curriculum activity.

He said that the establishment of silat martial arts clubs would help students develop character, discipline, patience, respect for teachers, as well as strengthening themselves to face social challenges.