Archive for the ‘Moral Education.’ Category

Moral compass for parents, guardians

Sunday, January 21st, 2018
It is a partnership between teachers, school and parents, and in any partnership, there will be responsibilities to be shared among the partners. NSTP file pic /Effendy Rashid

THE education of our children is not the sole responsibility of teachers or the school. It is a partnership between teachers, school and parents, and in any partnership, there will be responsibilities to be shared among the partners. Navigating through this may at times be tricky for teachers, parents and guardians. The suggestion by the National Union of Teaching Profession Malaysia to have a Code of Ethics for Parents and Guardians is a way through this maze. The motivation behind the proposal is perhaps the increasing number of attacks by parents on teachers. NUTP says such incidents have not reached an alarming level, but it wants to arrest the problem before they get out of hand. Indiscipline in schools has spiralled in the recent past. On Aug 17, this paper highlighted the case of 402 schools being saddled with disciplinary problems. While Selangor and Johor topped the list with 76 and 63 schools respectively, Kuala Lumpur shamed us with 22 schools, all with drug issues. The disciplinary issues were so serious that police had to call in parents of problematic students for a chat. Bullying, too, is on the rise in residential and non-residential schools. Death due to bullying is not unheard of. NUTP’s proposed code may go some distance in solving this growing menace.

Parents must understand that the school is a learning environment and, as such, it would have rules to ensure that the institution is operated with this objective in mind. Parents must help, not hinder the school in meeting its objectives. The first duty of parents is to send to school a well-disciplined child, who is willing to learn. This is mostly, not entirely though, a result of the nurturing process at home. At times, a well-disciplined child may be shaped by the environment, either at school or outside, into a bully. For example, if a child from a caring home lands in one of the 22 schools in Kuala Lumpur with serious discipline issues, there is a likelihood that the child would fall prey to bad influence. Peer pressure will get to the child, and without early intervention, he will be a delinquent in no time.

Here is where the Code of Ethics for Parents and Guardians will come in handy. A good code will lay out the “dos” and “don’ts” for the parents to navigate their way through the education of their children. Parents who care for the development of their children will closely monitor their children’s progress in school. Parents need to recognise that the school is a place of work as well.


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Transformation in Moral Education

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017
File pix) Moral Education focuses on values learnt at home and school, and in society. Pix by Edmund Samunting

RECENTLY, there was a suggestion that a Values and Personality Development Initiative programme be introduced to students next year.

I look forward to such a programme, which will focus not only on the grading component of Moral Education and Islamic Studies, but also what is characterised by students who study both the subjects.

Moral Education started as a core subject in the education system in the early 1980s. After three decades, there has been a tremendous transformation in Moral Education, not only in Malaysia but also many parts of the globe. A subject that used to focus on the moral cognition, especially stages of moral development, has ventured more into holistic moral development, which includes moral thinking, moral emotions, moral actions, moral sensitivity and moral motivation.

In the 1960s, when Moral Education was gaining popularity worldwide, the principle behind moral philosophy was that one who thought morally would behave morally. But, as research intensified, it was realised that individuals who talked so much about morality and how one should behave, sometimes were not moralised themselves.

Then, came the era of character education in the 1970s. Authorities argue that to be moralised, one needs to have the head (moral thinking), the heart (moral emotions) and the behaviour (moral action).

Since Moral Education started in Malaysia in the 1980s, we have been following the character education model, focusing on the moral thinking, moral emotions and moral action components.

However, the assessment at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) level until early 2000 focused on Moral Studies, which entailed the 16 main values and 64 sub-values in the syllabus.

It was a teething era for Moral Education and we have come a long way from focusing on values and value clarifications based on situations provided in the examination.

Now, the pedagogies and assessments for Moral Education are based on the three components as mentioned.

In 2002, Paper Two for Moral Education was introduced in SPM. Students were required to conduct moral projects. Moral Education teachers were required to assess students based on the projects and reports submitted by their students.

By Dr Vishalache Balakrishnan.

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Moral values to be assessed

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

A Values and Personality Development Initiative programme will begin for all school students from early next year.

The programme will see students receiving a score for how well they display moral values within the classroom, and not just how they answer Islamic Studies and Moral Education exam questions.

Deputy Education director-general (Teaching Professionalism Development) Dr Zainal Aalam Hassan said that the ministry hopes moral values are not only learnt but practised by all students.

“Anyone can learn values but it is more difficult to make it a practice,” he told reporters before the launch of the Education Ministry’s new cinema advertisement on Monday

Most of the time, students are only taught about moral values during Islamic Studies and Moral Education classes, he added.

But these values have been implied and taught throughout the whole curriculum, said Sulaiman.

There would be town halls and workshops to gather feedback and train teachers on how to assess students’ values, added Dr Zainal Aalam.

“Other stakeholders including parents and the local community will also be engaged.”

“It is very difficult to measure moral values,” he said.

He also said that all teachers would be asked to evaluate students as “students do not just meet one teacher in a day.”

For example, Dr Zainal Aalam said students can be assessed on their ability to work together by the way they interact with each other when seated in groups.

“This would also mean those that are more academically-inclined can help the weaker students,” he added.
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