HISTORY SHOULD INTEREST STUDENTS
History subject of Malaysian secondary schools is politicized to such an extent that it does not interest students anymore. Unfortunately only UMNO leaders still do not know why History subject do not interest students. Schools are there to provide education that enable and empower students to contribute positively to themselves, society and nation. Yet UMNO fundamentalist temper with history syllabus to erase the diverse, multi ethnic and multi religious history of our country.
Malaysian schools should be free of indoctrination, evangelism and racism if we as a nation were to compete and find a respectable place among other countries. Education Ministry seems more concern with producing colorful and glossy history textbook.
Only when there are public outcry the ministry comes out to inform the general public that they seek the history teacher’s views otherwise teachers are never taken seriously. Do the ministry officials ever take the students view? Since students are the main stakeholders, they should have a strong say in the whole matter.
Ministry has a tendency to impose certain narrow views on the students. Students now are well exposed to the world views than the elders via internet and other alternate media. Therefore it is not possible to stuff parochial and dogmatic views in their minds. It is important that the ministry takes an inclusive approach to not only history but also moral studies through consultation with student representatives. Student’s aspirations and expectations must be factored in the formulation of history syllabus.
The current government talks so much about brain drain and spends millions of tax payer’s money to entice them to return but at the same time, government is making superficial and primitive changes to drive them away from our education system. Do the UMNO racist ever bothered about brain drain or they feel they have more brains than others. We need proactive and inclusive action and not mere empty and shallow promises from the government to instill confidence in our country.
Students are accessible to so much historical information with just a click away. Will our existing history syllabus and the teaching methodology ever compete to attract student’s interest? Therefore to make history interesting, thought provoking and informative, the history subject syllabus and the teaching methodology must be revised. A study of History is to understand how we arrived at the present. Religion is minor episode in the vase ocean of history. Therefore to limit history subject to only a particular religion and race is a disservice and disloyal act of the highest order to the fertile and budding young minds of this beloved nation. History has ample proof of how religious dogmas, conflicts and misunderstandings have destroyed civilizations and empires.
Religion is the opium of the poor people. Give them generous quantities of it and they will blissfully support the very religious leader who is destroying them. Religious leaders throughout history have waged wars, death, torment and destruction than any other single cause. Yet UMNO politicians instruct civil servants to turn history into religious and racial indoctrination propaganda. Let’s fix up the history subject to one that is inclusive and revealing the mysteries of the past.
Senator Dr. S. Ramakrishnan