School textbooks: Due acknowledgement given to authors

We thank Composers and Authors Society of Singapore chief executive Edmund Lam for his feedback on the new Chinese language textbooks for Secondary 4 Express students ("Credit authors of extracts in textbook"; Monday).

The Ministry of Education takes copyright adherence very seriously in developing its curriculum materials. It seeks the permission of the copyright owners to adapt their works and acknowledges the permission granted in the textbooks.

The passage, Fishing, mentioned by Dr Lam was adapted, not extracted, from one of the three sub-stories in the original text of Childhood Memories by Mr Feng Zikai. The passage was substantially rewritten to serve the curriculum objectives and the learning profile of our students.

In this case, as Mr Feng had passed away in 1975, we sought the permission to adapt his work from his daughter, Madam Feng Yiyin. This permission was acknowledged in the textbook.

We agree with Dr Lam that it is important to engage students in a discussion of culture and literary figures in the course of learning the mother tongue languages.

In some instances, instructional materials may not reflect the name of the author if the original text was substantially rewritten.

We will take Dr Lam's feedback into consideration when we review our instructional materials.

Sng Chern Wei

Director, Curriculum Planning and Development Division 1

Ministry of Education

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