National Philosophy of Malaysian Education (NPME)

Philosophy of Education focuses on the values, beliefs and attitudes in relation to the growth process of individuals and society. These values, beliefs and attitudes determine the direction of our education, particularly the aims, goals, objectives, content delivery and assessment of education.

The National Philosophy of Malaysian Education (NPME) as stated by Curriculum Development Centre (CDC) 1988 is as follows:

EDUCATION IN MALAYSIA IS AN ON-GOING EFFORT  TOWARDS FURTHER DEVELOPING THE POTENTIAL OF INDIVIDUALS IN A HOLISTIC AND INTEGRATED MANNER SO AS TO PRODUCE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE INTELLECTUALLY, SPIRITUALLY, EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY BALANCED AND HARMONIC, BASED ON A FIRM BELIEF IN AND DEVOTION TO GOD.”

“SUCH AN EFFORT IS DESIGNED TO PRODUCE MALAYSIAN CITIZENS WHO ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE AND COMPETENT, WHO POSSESS HIGH MORAL STANDARDS AND WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE AND CAPABLE OF ACHIEVING HIGH LEVEL OF PERSONAL WELL-BEING AS WELL AS BEING ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE HARMONY AND BETTERMENT OF THE FAMILY, SOCIETY AND NATION AT LARGE”.

The curriculum developers in CDC decide the National Curriculum.  The National Curriculum is…”an educational programme that includes curriculum and co-curricular activities which encompasses all the knowledge, skills, norms, values, cultural elements and belief to help develop a pupil fully with respect to the physical, spiritual, mental and emotional aspects as well as to inculcate and develop desirable moral values and to transmit knowledge”.

Education Act 1996

(Education (National Curriculum) Regulation 1997)

The curriculum developers in CDC will decide on the kind of knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be transferred to the learners based on personal needs, community needs, social needs, economic motives, future needs, and knowledge continuity.

From our NPME, we can conclude that education in Malaysia is designed to produce Malaysian Citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, and who possess high moral standards so that they can function more effectively in their current times and in the future.

In summary, it can be stated that the functions, or outcomes, or the consequences of schooling include the development of the main domains of growth of our young children (as stated in NPME):

  • Cognitive domain (knowledge)
  • Psychomotor domain (skills)
  • Affective domain (attitudes)
  • Social domains (social interactions)
  • Productive domain (knowledge and skills)
  • Physical domain (development & maintenance of healthy body)
  • Aesthetic domain (values & appreciation of arts)
  • Moral domain (values & behaviors)
  • Spiritual domains (recognition & beliefs in the devine)

Aims of  education:

The aims of Malaysian education are “to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonic, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God; so that they become Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, possess high moral standards and are responsible and capable of achieving high level of personal well-being as  well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, society and nation”.

Some keywords in the NPME are : “holistic”, “intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced”, “knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards”, and “responsible and capable of achieving high level of personal well-being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, society and nation at large”.

Based on the above keyword, we probably can match NPME to the general educational philosophy of Progressivism, which stresses that “school should be a miniature of a democratic society in which students could learn and practice the skills and tools necessary for democratic living; which include problem-solving methods and scientific inquiry; and learning experiences that include cooperative behaviours and self-discipline; which are important for democratic living”.

Keywords “to produce Malaysian citizens who possess high moral standards and being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family and society” have certain sociological elements in them such as ethnic integration. These foundations become very important in Malaysia because of the rapid change in our society.

Some keywords in the NPME that are related to the psychological elements of human being are : “an effort towards further developing the potential of individuals” and “to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically”, indicated that people have different abilities (mental and physical) and multiple intelligences , and thus education should develop these potentials to the maximum.

The keywords like : “on-going effort”, “in a holistic and integrated manner”, and “intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonic” may suggest that our past education did not address these issues. It also indicate the importance of life-long learning, and well-rounded-person education.

The Role of teachers:

Some of the teachers role :

  • teach inductive and deductive reasoning, scientific method, and the power of observation and practice. This an be achieved through the teaching methods of  hands-on curricula, group work, and experimentation;
  • plan teaching and learning activities that encourage students to participate in learning;
  • prepare the content of subject-centered lesson and delivers it  through direct instruction.
  • ask questions, present social issues and problem solving challenges, and serve as organizer and information resource. This can be done through the teaching methods of stimulating divergent thinking and group discussion.
  • Encourage students to philosophize about life and to recognize and fulfill personal freedom. This can be done through the teaching methods of discussion and analysis, examination of choice-making in own and others’ life;
  • a role model.

The role of students:

  • to show active learning and participation;
  • to receive knowledge and demonstrate minimum competencies;
  • to develop independence, self-discipline, set challenges, and solve problems;
  • to inquire, apply critical thinking skills, and take action.

Read more @ :

Ministry of Educationhttp://www.moe.gov.my

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