Ahad, 28 September 2008

Teach our kids to be thinkers

I SEE my Form Four daughter spending hours trying to memorise the nilai murni (moral values) for the subject Moral. She says there are 36 moral values which have to be learnt by rote.

Every single word has to be learnt word for word as the teacher would frequently test them orally to see if they are able to regurgitate what they have memorised.

Even using a word similar to the original is not allowed!

May I ask the Education Minis­ter, what is the point of memorising moral values?

For how long has this unsound practice been going on?

Will memorising word for word imbibe our citizens with good values? Looking at how our society is deteriorating, I don’t think all the memorising is doing one bit of good.

Back in my school days, there was no such thing as learning 36 moral values by rote.

In fact, moral was not even taught as a subject and yet we have turned out fine .

Has there been studies to prove that memorising the 36 moral values has produced more morally upright individuals over the years? Newspaper reports paint a bleak picture.

After just a short span of a few years, the Education Ministry was quick to undertake a study on the efficacy of English as the medium of instruction for Maths and Science.

Have they tested the efficacy of memorising 36 moral values in producing morally sound individuals?

Students spend hours and hours memorising those values just hoping to get good grades.

What a waste of precious time! Wouldn’t it be better if the emphasis is on a good understanding of basic values?

In fact if students have a deep understanding of “love your fellowmen as yourself” (and of course, love and fear of the Al­­mighty), everything else will fall into place.

Students should be allowed to think. They should ponder and be encouraged to express themselves. We want our children to be thinking individuals, not some regurgitating robots with no understanding of true values.

We should not and cannot allow this parrot-like method of learning to continue.

I urge the Minister to seriously look into this and not continue to waste precious time with such unsound practices.


Kuala Lumpur.

The Star Online: 27 September 2008

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