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Another congress on Jawi education in schools to be held this weekend

23 Dec 2019 / 16:06 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: On Sunday, there will be a congress to pressure the government to resume talks on the introduction of the Arabic script in the school curriculum.

This comes a day after a Chinese education group, Dong Jiao Zong, holds its own assembly to protest against the teaching of Jawi at school.

The Gabungan Seni Khat Action Group (Sekat) said that all the issues pertaining to the teaching of Jawi would be explained in detail at this Sunday’s event, dubbed the National Jawi Congress.

Its national secretary, Arun Dorasamy, said this was to ensure that all quarters got a better understanding of the group’s reason and rationale for protesting its introduction at the Primary 4 level in the school syllabus, beginning next year.

“This congress will complement the Dong Jiao Zong congress. Unlike the Dong Jiao Zong’s one, which focuses on the Chinese community, the National Jawi Congress will be for all Malaysians,” Arun said.

“This is because we felt the issue of Jawi is not a racial one, but a national issue which must be discussed and addressed together. We will discuss the matter in a more academic and united way,” he told a press conference, here today.

The congress, which will see various NGOs and Parent-Teacher Associations attending, will be held at the Crystal Crown Hotel in Petaling Jaya beginning 10am on Sunday, and is open to the public.

The announcement of this congress comes just a week after Dong Jiao Zong announced that they would also hold a ‘Chinese Organisation Congress’ on Saturday, citing their unhappiness with the latest teaching guidelines for the Jawi script lessons in school.

Meanwhile, Arun said he expects at least 400 people to attend the congress, adding that six speakers would be taking the stage on Sunday, including activist Siti Kasim, to touch on various aspects of the Jawi implementation in schools.

He said the congress would also table and pass six resolutions which would then be handed over to Education Minister Maszlee Malik.

On whether the congress has received the approval of the authorities, Arun said: “We have notified the district police, and we are always in touch with them. We have briefed them on the agenda.”

“Also, since it’s a closed door event, we actually don’t need a permit from the authority,” he said.

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