The recent announcement from the Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching about using Jawi in textbooks has put the spotlight on the dying art of Khat or Jawi calligraphic writing, basically using Arabic alphabets to write the Malay language.
The public is divided on the decision, however, as most agree that apart from Jawi, other soft skills like critical thinking, personal finance and even coding be added to the syllabus too. Importantly, students should get to decide which soft skill that they want to learn.
A lecturer in USM has been teaching the Art of Khat co-curricular course since 2012 there, and he shared in his post that every semester, there would be Chinese students who register for his class and most of them are very talented.
He also mentioned that their number is steadily increasing year by year.
He did ask them whether they’ve mistakenly chosen the course, but the students admitted that they were very interested in learning the art of khat. He even shared photos of the classes with the students displaying their beautiful art pieces.
Read his full post here:
Art does help with cognitive development, and there’s nothing wrong in picking up a skill. However, there’s more to it than just that. There are so many more vital skills that our youth are lacking today that trump the need to learn calligraphy. Making it mandatory for all students makes this issue even more contentious.
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