KUCHING (Nov 21): Sarawak United Association of Chinese School Boards of Management (Sha Dong Zong) has expressed disappointment and dissatisfaction over the federal government’s recent announcement that the Bahasa Malaysia (BM) textbook for Year 5 will include a three-page teaching of Jawi beginning next year.
In a statement today, Sha Dong Zong said based on a survey conducted by the Ministry of Education (MoE) this year, 97.3 per cent of boards of management for Chinese primary schools and parents objected to the teaching of Jawi.
“According to the 2020 survey conducted by the MoE, only 35 Chinese primary schools out of the total 1,297 throughout the country chose to implement the teaching of Jawi.
“This outcome is to say that 97.3 per cent of school boards and parents have objected to the teaching of Jawi. Despite so, MoE has ignored the majority of the opinions and insisted on implementing the policy. Sha Dong Zong is extremely disappointed and dissatisfied with this,” it said.
Sha Dong Zong said it had conducted a similar survey on 222 Chinese primary schools comprising 169 various boards of management and 50 parent-teacher associations (PTAs) across Sarawak in February this year.
The outcome of the survey indicated that 219 schools or 98.7 per cent of the total declined to accept the teaching of Jawi, pointed out Sha Dong Zong.
It regretted that the MoE insisted on implementing the teaching of Jawi in spite of seeing 97 per cent of parents objecting to the move.
Given the high percentage of objection, Sha Dong Zong opined that the policy of implementing the teaching of Jawi for Year 5 had become meaningless.
“We regret that the MoE could not be objective enough to see the reality, worse still, entirely dismissing the major opinions of the parents and the Chinese community.”
Ever since the issue of the teaching of Jawi raised the concern of many, the Chinese community had on several occasions made it clear to the MoE that it objected to the policy, said Sha Dong Zong.
It added that the Chinese community had even suggested to the MoE to make the teaching of Jawi an optional extra-curricular activity rather than a compulsory by including it in the BM textbook.
The Chinese community is of the opinion that pupils should be given a choice whether they want to learn it or not, asserted Sha Dong Zong.
As such, it urged the MoE to respect the strong opinions of Chinese school boards and parents concerned, and call off the teaching of Jawi in Year 5 next year.
Sha Dong Zong also appealed to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to bring up the matter to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in the hope of seeing Putrajaya not to implement the policy next year.
It hoped that the federal government would heed the advice of Sarawak to maintain the status quo of Chinese primary schools in terms of teaching syllabus so as to address the concern of the Chinese community.