While the debate on teaching Jawi in vernacular schools has been ongoing for some time now in Malaysia, a recent development may be the be-all and end-all verdict, as reported by Astro Awani.
The Jawi alphabet, for those who aren’t familiar, is an Arabic script used throughout Southeast Asia to write Malay, Achenese, Banjarese, Minangkabau, Tausug and several other languages from within the region.
As of late, it has been hotly contested issue as to whether the government should allow the teaching of the Jawi script in Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools. But just yesterday (28th November 2019), the Penang High Court has ruled that the teaching of the Jawi script will be allowed in both Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools.
According to Judicial Commissioner Amarjit Serjit Singh, this decision was made as Jawi constitutes as a part of Bahasa Malaysia, which is Malaysia’s constitutional language. As such, a challenge by the Gerakan political party to stop the teaching of Jawi has been thrown out of court.
The initial challenge by Gerakan claims that the teaching of Jawi in Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools could lead to the impression that Islam was being propagated to students of different faiths. However, it was soon dismissed as the teaching of Jawi is not against the national Constitution.
What are your thoughts on this development? Do you think Jawi should be taught in all vernacular schools?
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