“CONSULT THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY AS STAKEHOLDERS IN THE EDUCATION REVIEW PANEL: SPM BIBLE KNOWLEDGE MUST BE BILINGUAL”
STATEMENT OF THE CCM YOUTH
Kuala Lumpur – 2 March 2012. CCM Youth referred to the article in the Sunday Star dated February 26, 2012 entitled “Review of Education System Soon” and in their press release, raised their concern that the Ministry of Education should consult the Christian community, as important stakeholders, in the education review panel, in particular, the SPM Bible Knowledge examination.
CCM Youth, in conjunction with the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Al-Kitab, has called on the Ministry of Education to make the SPM Bible Knowledge examination paper bilingual. This is in recognition of the fact that a large majority of Christians, mainly in East Malaysia, actually speak Bahasa Malaysia instead of English. They have been left out all this while. This needs to be corrected.
CCM Youth highlighted that in the 2010 Housing and Population Census report released by the Department of Statistics, Malaysia, Christians accounted for 2.6 million or 9.2% of the nation’s population of 28.3 million people.
A closer scrutiny revealed that 73.3% of the Christian population resided in the East Malaysian states of Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan. They are mainly indigenous believers speaking Bahasa Malaysia or their mother tongues as their first language.
CCM Youth noted that the Bible Knowledge subject for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination had to-date been made available only in the English Language, and is currently the only Christian-related subject in SPM for secondary schools. Despite the huge majority of indigenous Christian believers, the Ministry of Education appear to have overlooked East Malaysian students. CCM Youth believed that it was imperative to correct this misconception that Christian believers in Malaysia spoke only English. This misconception has now resulted in indigenous Christian students in Sabah and Sarawak being deprived of their right to study and sit for the SPM Bible Knowledge paper in Bahasa Malaysia.
This also prompted CCM Youth to point out that the nation’s Christian community, led by the Bible Society of Malaysia and Seminari Theoloji Malaysia, were celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Alkitab, i.e. the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia.
The translation of the Gospel of Matthew in the Malay Language was published in 1612. This was a very historic and significant publication as it was the earliest translation of the Bible into a non-European language.
Hence, CCM Youth stipulated in its list of recommendations to the Ministry of Education to include the following reforms for the SPM Bible Knowledge paper:-
· To have SPM Bible Knowledge paper set as a bilingual paper, making it available in both Bahasa Malaysia and English language for the benefit of all students;
· To provide full teaching facilities and resources for the indigenous Christian teachers to be trained to teach Bible Knowledge as a core examination subject during school hours in Sabah and Sarawak;
· To only allow for the setting of examination questions for SPM Bible Knowledge to be done by teachers of the Christian faith; and,
· To only allow for the marking of SPM Bible Knowledge paper to be done by teachers of the Christian faith.
CCM Youth would persist to seek justice and uphold the rights of all Christian students and students of other non-Muslim faiths to be allowed to have full access to teaching resources that will help strengthen their faith and, in so doing, help build a righteous and God-honouring nation.
2 March 2012
SOURCE: COUNCIL OF CHURCHES OF MALAYSIA YOUTH NETWORK
Media Contact details:
Person to contact – Daniel Chai 012 3986776
https://www.facebook.com/groups/18215893112/ (CCM Youth Network)
1. Ministry of Education
2. Teachers’ Christian Fellowship
3. Malaysian Christian Schools’ Council