Thumbs-up for new schools curriculum.

Ministry of Education (MOE) would like to refer to an article by Najiah Najib, published in Malay Mail paper dated 19 April 2010 on the issue of –– “THUMBS-UP FOR NEW SCHOOLS CURRICULUM, BUT…”.

First and foremost, the MOE welcomes and appreciates the comments by the writer with regard to the new school curriculum and the issue which surround it. The national school curriculum is designed based on the principles inherent in the National Philosophy of Education with the aim 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 harmonious, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God. Towards this aim, relevent initiatives are in place to produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards and who are responsible and capable of acheiving high Stage of personal well-being as well being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the society and the nation at large.

The Standards-based Primary School Curriculum (KSSR in Bahasa Malaysia) will be implemented in stages starting in 2011 to replace the Integrated Primary School Curriculum (KBSR in Bahasa Malaysia). The implementation of KSSR brings about certain changes to the curriculum content and practices in the primary school system. The remodelling of curriculum content through the introduction of new subjects, emphases on sound pedagogical approaches and holistic assessment menthods are among the initiatives outlined ini KSSR.

In line with the NKRA for the Ministry, the curriculum for Stage I primary schooling emphasizes the mastery of the basic 3Rs, reasoning skills, basic ICT, the development of socio-emotional, spritual, physical, cognitive, attitudes and values. The discipline of knowledge is categorized into 3 main modules; the core basic module the core thematic module and the elective module. The core basic module contains 6 subject which are Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese or Tamil (only for Vernacular Schools), Mathematics, Islamic Education (for Muslim pupils) or Moral Education (for non-muslim pupils) and Physical Education. The core thematic module contains 3 subjects which are Arts and Me, World of Science and Technology and Malaysia Negaraku. The Elective Module contains language subjects such as Chinese, Tamil, Arabic, Iban, Kadazandusun or Semai which schools can choose to offer.

At stage II Primary school, the curriculum emphasizes strengthening and applying the 3Rs, basic ICT skills, development of socio-emotional, spiritual, physical, cognitive, attitudes and values. Content knowledge is presented through 9 subjects. Core subjects such as Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese and Tamil (for vernacular schools), Mathematic, Science, Islamic Education, Moral Education, Physical Education and Health Education are retained. However, some subject are redesigned either by combining two or more disciplines of knowledge into one subject. Subject such as Living Skills, Civics and Citizenship Education and Local Studies are replaced by new subjects. The new subjects are Design and Technology / Information and Communication Technology, Visual Arts and Music and History / Malaysia Negaraku.

The KSSR requires teachers to apply classroom strategies which promote creative and critical thinking and innovation among pupils. Teachers need to carry out teaching and learning activities which are student-centred, provide opportunities for pupils to explore and test their hypotheses and ideas, solve problem and most importantly provide a fun learning environment. Classroom practices such as inquiry-based, problem-based and project-based are some recommended strategies which promote critical and creative thinking and innovation among pupils. Teachers need to be sensitive to students’ learning needs and be able to indentify learning styles which suits them best.

The KSSR proposes the implementation of schools-based assessments to guage students’ potentials and the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process in the classroom. This formative assessment will inform teachers on suitable remedial or enhancement treatments for pupils. It will also help teachers indentify and plan salient and effective classroom strategies.

Corporate Communication Unit,
Ministry of Education Malaysia.

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