The parts that touched on the festive season in the textbook were in the form of cut-out activities from pages 119 – 123.
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There’s a lot going on lately with the issue of media not having suitable content for Malaysian Muslims. Just recently, the movie Mentega Terbang made headlines as it was alleged to portray content that goes against the teachings of Islam.
But now another similar type of incident has allegedly surfaced. This time, in a children’s textbook.
A Malaysian textbook that has Christmas, Halloween & Easter contents
Recently, a woman named Diana Zainudin, or Didi expressed her worries over the standard 1 English textbook called ‘Super Minds’.
Expressing her concern on Facebook, the woman said after returning from performing umrah, she took a look at her son’s textbooks. Her husband said that when they received the books from his teacher and asked what is the ‘Super Minds’ book about, the teacher told him that it was a ‘superhero’ book.
When she looked at the contents of the book, she said she found several pages with illustrations of Easter, Christmas and Halloween. She said she was shocked and bewildered that the school textbooks would teach these things to kids.
Then she stated that with these contents being taught to our kids since standard 1, no wonder there’s a local movie like Mentega Terbang out there.
She also found out that even since 2018, there are other parents that contest the contents of the book but maybe it didn’t reach the ministry’s attention or they didn’t take action on anything.
Some believe this shouldn’t be taught in schools
In her comment section, a lot of Malaysian netizens were divided on this issue. Some of them agreed with Didi’s worries while some thought that this is not a big deal.
One person even commented that “All of us teachers have brought this to KPM (Ministry of Education) but they didn’t pay attention. So now we teachers hope that you parents can voice this out so they (KPM) can take action. TVQM.”
“My child even said that she wants to celebrate Christmas and Halloween because of that book.”
“What’s the use of learning these things? Our children should be taught religious knowledge, that’s way more important. No wonder there’s a Mentega Terbang movie out there with this level of KPM.”
Some didn’t even think it was a big deal
However, some netizens didn’t even think it was a big issue. Some of them are teachers and parents too.
They thought that since Malaysia is a multi-religious country with various races, it was good to at least give this kind of exposure to them to respect other people’s beliefs.
But with those exposures, it’s definitely the teacher’s and parent’s job to explain gently to them that Muslims do not celebrate these seasons. They think that kids would really understand if they are taught correctly.
About the ‘Super Minds’ book
For your information, the Super Minds Student’s Book 1 is published by Cambridge University Press and written by Herbert Puchta, Günter Gerngross and Peter Lewis-Jones.
This textbook replaced the previous English textbook (KSSR revised 2017) in 2018 and is used to teach standard 1 and standard 2 students.
Based on an explanation from an English teacher in her blog, the new book is more colourful, attractive, and not lengthy like the previous textbook. It has fewer units (10 units) compared to the previous one which had 24 units, so it can be covered in a more focused, comprehensive and unrushed way.
Based on our findings, the parts that touched on Halloween, Christmas and Easter were only in the form of ‘cut-out’ activities from pages 119 – 123.
You can refer to the ‘Super Minds’ textbook by clicking here.