MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Iron Lady: Don't teach school students divisive ideas

Divisive interpretations of religion and cultures should not be allowed to be taught in schools, said Rafidah Aziz.
Speaking at a forum today, the former trade and industry minister stressed that such teachings would only go against the country's effort to foster unity among its multi-cultural people.
She said divisive teachings happen when schools are led by educators who interpret education in their own way.
"Speaking about unifying, don't ever teach in schools that you can't wish others a Merry Christmas, you cannot wish Happy Deepavali to the Hindus.
That's not unifying. This is not (government) policy [...] this is just an interpretation by some idiots," Rafidah said during a forum on education organised by the Gerak education group and armed forces veterans association Patriot at Universiti Malaya's Law Faculty in Petaling Jaya.
She was answering a question from the floor on the issue of inculcating the spirit of unity in young Malaysians.
Rafidah said such problems were not necessarily the fault of the education system as sometimes it was the educators who went his or her own way in teaching the students.
She also related to the audience her experience of visiting a kindergarten in a village in Kuala Kangsar when she was welcomed by young kids singing religious-themed reminders of death and the hereafter.
"When I was still an MP and minister, I went to a government-sponsored kindergarten and there were these little kids five-years-old in tudung, singing to us adults, 'Please remember the hereafter. Ingatlah mati' and so on.
"During my speech, I blasted the school (administration). Is this what you teach? These kids haven't gone to school yet and you want them to remind the adults of the hereafter?" she said.
"Is this a government policy? No. The government doesn't even know. So we have to report on these aberrations. If we don't do that, these aberrations become the norm," Rafidah added.
During her talk today, Rafidah, dubbed the "Iron Lady" during her tenure,  also took a swipe at the Education Ministry over the issue of its black school shoes directive.
This came about when she touched on the need for Malaysia to combine recreation with education and use ICT (information and communication technology) to attract students.
"Primary school is the one place where you can actually combine recreation with education. Make learning fun.
"I'm so thrilled when I see such videos, when I see examples in other countries where young children learn through ICT with bright eyes.
"But in Malaysia, we haven't had that yet. Or maybe I missed something. In private schools maybe they have. In our government schools, I don't know.
"So it is slogging. We complain about backpacks being too heavy and you wear black school shoes instead of white.
"I hope they don't go into black underwear or white underwear, who knows," she quipped. - Mkini

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