Education Ministry releases FAQ on khat lessons, addresses main concerns

According to the Education Ministry, khat will take up only six out of 164 pages of the new Bahasa Malaysia Standard Four textbook. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
According to the Education Ministry, khat will take up only six out of 164 pages of the new Bahasa Malaysia Standard Four textbook. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — The Education Ministry (MOE) today issued a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers on the introduction of khat in primary schools next year to alleviate some of the fears surrounding it, as debate rages on following a mass outcry and lack of information on the subject.

The ministry said khat will be an additional segment of the Revised Primary School Standards-Based Curriculum (KSSR) for the Standard Four Bahasa Malaysia syllabus and there will be no assessments and tests for it.

The main issue that many non-Bumiputeras and non-Muslims have is why the subject has been made compulsory, to which the MOE responded by saying that khat will take up only six out of 164 pages of the new Bahasa Malaysia (BM) Standard Four textbook, as part of language art activities.

The MOE added that the six pages will not be sufficient to master jawi, but is more to enhance one’s knowledge of history, art and heritage of BM.

Khat will be taught at all primary schools including Chinese and Tamil schools and the decision to do so was decided during the revision of the curriculum (KSSR) in 2014.

Khat will be compulsory learning for Level Two students which involves Year Four in 2020, Year Five in 2021 and Year Six in 2022, while students from Years One to Three need not take the subject.

Based on the FAQ, the MOE said it is not attempting to force the segment on others and that is the reason why there will be no formal examinations or tests administered.

Addressing Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng’s comment that the MOE should introduce computer language programming or coding, instead of khat, the ministry said it had introduced coding to primary and secondary school students through the revised KSSR and Secondary School Standards-Based Curriculum (KSSM) in 2017.

This involves Level Two students (Years Four and Five) in primary schools and Form One to Three students in secondary schools, with the module being part of the Technology Design and Computer Science subject.

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