An immoral question in a moral subject
The SPM moral paper, as in the past has caused yet another controversy this year by insinuating, through examination questions, to students that they should not oppose the government or join anti-government protests.
Allowing such a question as part of a public examination shows the level of intolerance, non-scholarly and narrow mindedness of the examination syndicate. For a democratic country which elects a new government once in every 5 years, such questions are an anti-anecdote to our parliamentary system of governance.
If a student learns English, it improves the proficiency in English. Similarly, if a student takes up mathematics, the numeric skill improves and likewise in Bahasa Malaysia and other subjects. But if a student does well in moral paper, does it mean that the student has high moral values. It appears the Ministry of Education wants to convert the moral paper into a test of the government’ immoral propaganda! To participate in a peaceful rally against a corrupted government is a moral responsibility of a citizen.
Mahatma Gandhi said “civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state has become lawless or corrupt. And a citizen that barters with such a state shares its corruption or lawlessness”. If Gandhi were to sit for SPM moral paper, he may fail. But to add insult to injury, the moral paper is compulsory for non-Muslim students, which is included in determining the overall performance of students.
The SPM Moral exam paper has been controversial ever since it was introduced. Instead of moral exam, a better moral message would be the exemplary role of the Prime Minister, his cabinet and the bureaucracy. The whole nation is docked with the RM42 billion 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion donation fiascos. To date no action or response is forth coming from the government. Is that morally correct?
Despite the highest allocation to the ministry of education every year, the standard of English, Maths and Sciences are slipping down. The ministry has no new idea to correct and reverse the trend. To add a politically slanted question in the moral exam paper is morally wrong. Despite the public outcry, the minister and his officials have not responded yet. Isn’t it their moral obligation to respond?
In the first place what use is the moral paper to the students and others concerned? It shows the lack of understanding of what is moral education is all about.
Moral education in many countries focuses on infusion of character and noble values. Besides learning numeracy, literacy, sciences and health education a focus on character building makes the schooling experience wholesome and nation building. To build cohesive and progressive society students need to be infused with a sense of responsibility, hard work, self-control, tolerance, respect and care for elders and patriotism to the nation. Some Community services nearby schools regardless of race and religion can send the moral lesson loud and clear.
Teachers and leaders have to be role models and dedicated and disciplined athletics coaches can better and effectively sent moral messages to students instead of testing moral as an examinable subject. Constantly harping on race and religion on every form of the bureaucracy and ministry of education is the most immoral message sent to the students. Hope the ministry gets their morality right before teaching moral to students and examining it later.