The government has decided to add the Malay and Indonesian languages to the public school curriculum. Two languages, spoken by 160 million people, will be taught as foreign language in schools.
Foreign language education in schools, which was confined to European languages, has expanded to languages from around the world. Currently, students can choose from 19 languages, from Urdu to Korean, from Chinese to Farsi.
Alparslan Durmuş, head of the Ministry of Education's department in charge of curriculum, said both languages were spoken in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, and they deemed them "strategic" to improve cultural ties and future relations with those countries.