Civic and Citizenship Education in Malaysia

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CIVIC AND CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION
IN MALAYSIA SCHOOLS

ABSTRACT
“Member States should promote, at every stage of education, an active civic training which will enable every person to gain a knowledge of the method of operation and the work of public institutions, whether local, national or international; and to participate in the cultural life of the community and in public affairs. Wherever possible, this participation should increasingly link education and action to solve problems at the local, national and international levels. Student participation in the organisation of studies and of the educational establishment they are attending should itself be considered a factor in civic education and an important element in international education.” (UNESCO Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, 1974.)

The government of Malaysia has considered the importance of teaching civic education in schools. As a subject called “Civics”, it first appeared in the primary school curricular after the country gained its independence in 1957.

In 2005, Civics and Citizenship Education was introduced as a compulsory subject into the Malaysian school system (KBSR and KBSM). It is important for schools to educate the young generation to be active and participating citizens in this 21st century. This article discusses about the Civic and Citizenship Education implementation in school in Malaysia. INTRODUCTION

Civics and Citizenship Education was introduced in the school system in Malaysia in stages at the two primary schools (Years 4 to Year 6) and all levels of secondary school (Form 1 to Form 5) for all students from 2005. Indeed Civics subject is not a bam subjects because these subjects ever had been formally taught before implementation of the Integrated Curriculum for Primary Schools (KBSR) since 1982 and Integrated Curriculum for Secondary Schools (ICSS) from the year 1988.

Although civic education is not taught formally as a subject in the classroom since the implementation KBSR and because, according to the Cabinet Committee Report Review Committee on Education, Ministry of Education, 1979 (known as the Cabinet Report 1979), the teaching and learning of civic found to be performed satisfactorily. Furthermore, according to the Cabinet Report 1979, most of the teachers and students assume civic not important because this subject is not a subject in public examinations. This subject also looked "not important" by some school (Cabinet Report, 1979, p. 74). In addition, the majority of teachers "not just do not know how to teach civics subjects even a negative attitude towards the subject. As a result the children were not attracted to this subject "(Cabinet Report, 1979, p. 74).

In1979 Cabinet Report realized the fact that civic and citizenship education is one of the important subjects to produce "the next generation of responsible and beneficial to the country" (Cabinet Report, 1979, p. 74).

Since there are weaknesses in the subject and for the sake of civic and citizenship education improvement and the quality of civic education in schools, the report recommends that civic and citizenship education should be taught through the teaching of humanities, language, literature, co-curricular activities and day-to-day practice in schools. This means that civics is not taught formally in the school system when KBSR was introduced in the early 1980's.

However, in this new millennium, the development of education and change whether that has happened in the country and globally has made civic and citizenship education in the school system to be important (Alred, Byram, & Fleming, 2002; Arthur, Davison, & Stow, 2000; Arthur & Wright, 2001; Beck & Earl , 2000).

In Malaysia, the issues of unity and patriotism among Malaysians, especially the younger generation has become an issue that is...
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