No science, maths in English although khat lessons to continue

The teaching of khat or Jawi calligraphy will continue at vernacular and missionary schools.

KUALA LUMPUR: The education ministry does not intend to reintroduce the teaching of science and mathematics in English, a policy the previous administration had been planning to revive.

Education Minister Radzi Jidin revealed this in a written reply to William Leong (PH-Selayang).

The policy for the teaching of science and mathematics in English, known as PPSMI, was introduced in 2003 for Year One pupils as well as students in Form One.

The programme was abolished in 2013 amid strong protest, with the dual language programme introduced in 2018 for 22,960 students at the primary and secondary levels.

In July last year, Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was prime minister at the time said the education ministry was studying “in detail” the reintroduction of PPSMI.

But the decision to reintroduce the initiative sparked an outcry among teachers and Malay advocacy groups.

Radzi however said the teaching of khat or Jawi calligraphy would continue at vernacular and missionary schools.

He said this in a written reply to Sim Chee Keong (PH-Bukit Mertajam) who asked if Jawi would remain part of the syllabus in Bahasa Melayu textbooks.

“For now, the education ministry will maintain the previous Cabinet’s decision on the matter,” he said, adding however that lessons would be fine-tuned to be made more holistic.

In August, the Cabinet said khat lessons would be renamed as Jawi and introduced in the syllabus for Year Four pupils at vernacular schools. However, it would be optional and would not be a test subject.

The Cabinet also agreed that Jawi would only be introduced in vernacular or SJK schools with the agreement of parent-teacher associations and students’ parents.

The move to introduce khat was met with protest from some, including Chinese and Tamil educationists who said it would not help vernacular school students improve their Malay language skills.

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