KBSR vs. KSSR

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As time goes by, Malaysia’s education system undergoes big changes. In 1983, Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Rendah (KBSR) was introduced and made some changes to the education system. 10 years later, its name was changed to Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah (KBSR). Now, a new curriculum was introduced a year ago, 2011 to replace KBSR: Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (KSSR). KSSR was introduced to reorganize and upgrade the current curriculum. Changes can be clearly seen in the aspect of key areas, curriculum documentation, curriculum design, curriculum organization, curriculum content, elements and focus.

In the aspect of key areas, KBSR focused on three key areas: communication, man and his environment and self-development whereas KSSR focused on six key areas: communication, spiritual, attitude and values, humanitarian, physical and aesthetical development, science and technology and lastly, physical and personal development. KBSR focused only on individuals whereas KSSR focused not only on individuals but also their surroundings. KSSR’s aim was to produce holistic individuals. KSSR focused on values for character building through the curriculum and co-curriculum.

In curriculum documentation, KBSR follows the syllabus for teaching materials whereas KSSR formulated based on Standard Document which consists of Content Standards which covers on students’ skills, knowledge and thinking and Learning Standards which are a set of achievements which can be measured for each content standard. The curriculum design for KBSR is linear which only involves listening, speaking, reading and writing whereas for KSSR is modular which involves not only listening, speaking, reading and writing but also covers language arts and grammar.

In KBSR, level 1 has Core, Compulsory and additional subjects whereas in KSSR, level 1 has Basic Core Modules, Thematic Core Modules and Elective Modules. In level 2, KBSR implemented Core, Compulsory and additional subjects similar to level 1...
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