Education Minister Maszlee Malik said his ministry was committed to seeing Malaysians mastering a third or fourth language including the Arab language.
He said the ministry was collaborating with various parties both at local and international levels to strengthen efforts towards getting students to command a foreign language.
“In 2011, the Malaysian Education Ministry had undertaken a comprehensive review of the country's education system as part of its plans to develop a new education plan for the country."
Towards this, the ministry had underlined 11 main measures to transform the country's education system, with one of them being the enhancement of language skills among students including Malay, English and Arab and encouraging them to learn other foreign languages as well, he told Bernama after delivering his speech at the launch of the World Arab Language Day (Wald) 2018 in Bangi on Tuesday.
The Wald is celebrated on Dec 18 annually to mark the selection of Arabic by the United Nations as one of the official languages of the international body.
This year the six-day celebration in Bangi took off on Dec 16 and was jointly organised by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Isesco), World Organisation for Reinassance (Woral), Education Ministry of Malaysia and Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor.
Among the various activities of the celebration were the contest and screening of short videos, an Arabic calligraphy competition, essay writing and a cultural evening.
Isesco director for Malaysia Dr Abdul Razif Zaini said there were also non-Muslim participants for the competitions, reflecting how advanced technology was attracting the interest and creativity of students to learn the Arabic language.
Speaking to Bernama, Razif said Isesco also launched a seminar on the learning of Arabic to encourage students from Malaysia and South East Asia to learn the language, .
Participants for seminar came from Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam and China.