National Philosophy of Education

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In Malaysia, education is a continuous attempt to maximum individual potentials in order to create a physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually person who believes in God and firmly hold on to his/her respective religious teachings. In order to achieve the goal, teachers especially, have to play a vital role in educating the students who will be able to perform their duties as responsible citizens. However, there are several challenges that are faced by the nation in producing a ‘good man’ who is balanced in all aspects. Hence, this paper will discuss three challenges towards making National Philosophy of Education (NPE) a reality in the Malaysian society and approaches that are taken in order to make the aspirations a certainty. The challenges are the lack of exposure on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in classroom, poverty among Malaysian students and negative impacts due to the advancement of technology.

Challenges towards making NPE a reality in the Malaysian society a)The Lack of Exposure on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in Classroom
EQ as mentions by Bar-On (1997, as cited in Butler, 2006), is an array of noncognitive capabilities, competencies and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environment demands and pressures. In Malaysia, based on the NPE, it is the aim of the government to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced. Now, the question is, is our culture has enough insights to generate citizens who are globally balanced?

A project paper entitled Problem-Oriented Project Based Learning in Environmental Management and Technology (2006) states that it is an at present challenge for the universities in Malaysia to produce employable graduates due to the incapability of the examination-based culture to create a conducive learning environment for the students to think critically, to communicate and collaborate effectively. This is due to the fact that many undergraduates in Malaysia come from an examination-oriented culture that lacks the ingredients to develop both the intelligence and emotional areas (Berhannuddin, 2007). The most apparent example is when students who study in Malaysia, have to take at least three major examinations throughout eleven years of learning. Those examinations are Primary School Assessment (UPSR), Lower Secondary Assessment (PMR) and Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM). The latter-mentioned assessments are very essential for the students as it will determine their prospect in the future. As a result of this circumstance, the student’s ability is limited in reproducing knowledge within a written assignment. Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (Lee) made a statement that examination-based culture has undeniably led to pressure from parents towards their children to perform in schools. This statement is made referring to the incident of the 12-year-old Subashini Sivakumar who hanged herself because of the discontent in her UPSR examination result. Hence, this situation is proven by the statistics that is given by Kuala Lumpur Hospital that stress at school and at home were the major contributory factors to the increase in mental problems in the country (Bernama, 2008). With these problems, it is a big challenge for this country to generate students who are physically, intellectually, spiritually and emotionally balanced when the education system is only focused on the constructing of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) rather than the building of the Emotional Intelligence. Based on the situations that are above-mentioned, it is proven that IQ and EQ are equally important in producing a balanced individual. This is supported by a research made by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning [CASEL] (2003, as cited in Bencivenga & Elias, 2003, pg.61) “recent research in emotional intelligence, brain friendly learning, and social-emotional influences on learning and performance has...
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