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The National Philosophy of Education is the guidance of the formation of Malaysian education system based on the national ideology, educators policy and educational reports implemented previously. There are eight principles emphasized in NPE. The first principle in NPE is the learning is an ongoing effort in which an individual continues to learn throughout his life. This will result in a nation who could receive and transfer knowledge, skills and noble values continuously even after completion of schooling which will help them to adapt to changes and face the world challenges. Next principle focuses on the development of learner's potentials by developing their hidden talents. These talents are nurtured ever since the child is young and one way to develop this potential is through education. As noted by teachinginmalaysia.com (2011), the potentials and abilities which compose of spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical aspects of any individual can be developed and constantly improved only through education. The teachers and parents play important role in helping individual's development since their early age. As to develop their potential skills Malaysian citizens should also develop holistically because development of potentials are inter-related with the holistic and integrated development of the individual. The National curriculum follows the concept known as JERIS which focuses on aspects such as intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical and harmonic. Through this principle the country will develop the nation who are multitasker, knowledgeable, and increase the competency level with noble characters to develop the country to a better position. Malaysian citizens will also be able behave with high morality, have devotion to god and avoid wrong doing. When individuals develop in all aspects from the JERIS concept, they will possess high moral values, responsibility, and develop personal well-being. This will help Malaysian citizens to live in harmony and contribute to their family, society and the country.
For teachers the NPE is important in their profession as the NPE is the source of inspiration for teachers to follow. Besides, NPE also help the teacher to excel in their teaching profession. In the meantime, NPE is also important to train teacher trainees with good personality, social and higher morality.
During post-independence, formation of education system took place in Malaysia is from the reports implemented by national educationist such as the Razak Report (1957) and Rahman Talib Report (1961) which were known as the old curriculum or KLSR. The Rahman Talib Report eventually became to be known as the Education Act 1961. According to Te Frendy (2013), the development of education system is divided into three phases which are first phase (1963-1965), second phase (1966-1970) and third phase (1971-1975). During these years the purpose of implementing the education system was to unite the nation of the country and create a universal education for all. As an effort to unite the nation, the names of all primary schools were converted to national and national-type schools (Azizi Ahmad, 2007). However the old curriculum was replaced with Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Rendah due to some weaknesses in KLSR. For example, there are repetitions in the syllabus and the curriculum only focus on each subject separately. In addition, the syllabuses used also considered too much for the students which make them feel bored. The implementation of KLSR only focuses on the achievement of individuals in academic and does not emphasis on aspects in JERIS.
As KLSR fails to implement the objectives of NPE successfully, Kurrikulum Baru Sekolah Rendah was implemented based on the Mahatir Report in the year 1983. This is a step forward to creating a democratized education in which the educational opportunity is given equally both in rural and urban areas. Later in 1993, KBSR came to be known as Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah. There are four principles four principles in KBSR namely integrated approach, one education for all, holistic development of the individual and life-long learning. The integrated approach is further divided into skills cohesion, infusion, and integration. Secondly, holistic development of individual as it is closely related to the development of potentials of individual. One may only develop potential skills if the person can develop spirituality, emotionally balanced, physically healthy, intellectual and social able. Other principles in KBSR are life-long learning and one education for all.
Nevertheless, the KBSR was replaced by KSSR in 2011 to further reinforce the goals of the country towards creating a better education system. Although the curriculum is changed from KBSR to KSSR, the four principles of KBSR are maintained because the principles are relevant and suitable to produce individuals who are balanced and develop holistically (KSSR Bahagian Pembangunan Kurikulum, 2011). Generally, KBSR focuses only on 3M which are reading, writing and arithmetic. This caused students to lack of critical thinking skills. The elements of KSSR focus more on creativity, innovation, entrepreneurial, information technology and communication contrasting the KBSR elements which focuses only on creativity and analytical thinking. On the other hand, the assessment method used in KSSR is not through public examination and school based assessment. In KBSR, there is only one method of assessing which is through the public examination. On the contrary, the KSSR is designed based on 6 areas which are the as the KBSR is only based on three areas. Moreover curriculum designed in KSSR is modular yet KBSR linear based curriculum. Although the organization of curriculum in both the KSSR and KBSR is divided into two levels but the modules and subjects in each level differs.
ACTIVITIES BEING CARRIED OUT IN SCHOOL AND CLASS
SCHOOL BASED ACTIVITIES
I have conducted a survey in a Tamil medium primary school which is SJK(T) Dengkil in Selangor. From the survey, I have discovered some of activities that are being carried out in school. These activities are divided into two which are school based activities and classroom activities. According to school's senior assistant, the aims of the activities carried out are to actualize the objectives of NPE and include the all the five aspects of JERIS in order to produce nation who are competent , knowledgeable, capable of achieving personal wellbeing and possess other good values.
The school organizes annual sports day between Februarys to March. In this event it is compulsory for all the students to take part. The main aim is to involve all the students and to improve the student's fitness level Students will be assembled in the field according to their house colour. For each house colour there will be a teacher assistances guiding the students during the sports day. Students taking part in the event will be contributing points to the house colour. Students took part in different running, throwing and jumping events. Students who participate well will be chosen for higher level sports activity such as MSSD, MSSM and ' merentas desa'. By organizing this activity the schools successfully increase the participation and enjoyments of the students in sports. This activity had also filled the student's leisure time. The students will also learn to do work in group. For example, the competition to decorate the tent for each house colour requires the teamwork and participation of all the students in each team. Through this activity the physical aspect of JERIS can be achieved. The students will be physically active and healthy.
Secondly, the school also conducted science fair project which was held in the month of Jun. This activity was conducted for all the students and marks will be given according to class. The aim of organizing science fair project is to expose the students to science and think out of the box. This project is also an effort to make the weaker students to learn science in a fun way. This activity will be monitored by the head panel of science, science teacher and the class teacher. The students should conduct experiments based on the given topic. The winner will be awarded in and will be sent by the school to participate in states level science fair project. As a result, the students have a better understanding on the topics they had experimented on. The students were also able to share knowledge and idea with each other and came up with good experiments. Through this activity students can develop intellectually as this activity helps to improves the student's creativity, critical thinking skills and develop the ability on reasoning. When students develop critical thinking skills and ability on reasoning they will develop their cognitive domain which will fulfill the aspect of intellectual in JERIS.
Besides that, the school also conducts classes in the evening. This is to help students with their coursework and help slow learners. The classes are usually conducted every Tuesday and Thursday. The activity is for students from year four to six. These classes are usually monitored by the teacher. By carrying out this activity, the school had seen improvements of students academically. When students are involved in this activity, the learning process is continuous in which students are able to share knowledge and skills. One of the objectives of NPE which is lifelong learning can be fulfilled through this activity.
Moreover, the school also conducted different activities for different uniform unit. The aim of this activity is to improve student's confidence level, motivation and learn self - discipline. For example the schools had organized camping in Gombak for the scout's team. A number of 40 students were involved in the camping. This participant had carried out activities such as marching, jungle trekking, and group activities. The participants were also given training on the basic survival skills. Through these activities, the participants can also develop improve their fitness level through the activities that were carried out during the camping. Beside that the school will also be able to accomplish the objective of NPE to produce students who are holistically developed and possess noble characters.
Furthermore, the school conducts Prize Giving Ceremony for students who scored well in UPSR. This is done every January. The aim of this event is to reward students who passed with flying colours and inspiration for them to do better in secondary school. Meanwhile, this will also inspire other students to achieve in academic. By organizing this activity, the objective of NPE to produce students who are intellectually developed can be achieved.
The second type of activity being carried out is classroom activity. This activity is mostly handled by the subject teacher. From the survey that I have conducted the teacher uses several methods to teach the students. The teacher uses various teaching technique to give a better understanding of the topic being taught to the student.
One of the methods used by the teacher to create a fun learning environment in class is through role play. The students will be divided into three or four groups. The teacher will explain the situation and give each student a role so that no one is left behind. Through this activity the student will learn communication skills. This activity is beneficial for the students to improve speaking in English using correct grammar, sentence structure and pronunciations. The students will also be able to develop their confidence level to speak up especially students who are shy and less interactive. Through this activity also, the weaker students can understand better and also attract students attention in the classroom on the topic being thought. The teacher believes that the elements of NPE can be actualized by helping the students to realize their hidden talents and develop their potentials.
Secondly, the teacher also uses games such as songs, word search and quizzes to teach English language in a more interactive way. These activities can help students engaged in learning English. The teacher uses this method to develop the student's knowledge. The students will be able to think by themselves to solve the problem. Consequently, the teacher found out by having games had created a learning environment which is conducive as well as aid in the improvement of weak students in the language. By carrying out these activities in classroom, the teacher is able to actualize the elements of NPE by developing individuals who are who are harmonious and balanced. The students will be more integrated and are able to make effort to solve problems.
Furthermore, the teacher uses techniques such as 'a word a day'. This activity will be carried out in the classroom or the library in which the students are able to find the meaning of the word. However, the teacher will also explain the meaning of the word and give exercises to students. Through this exercise students can make use of the word by creating sentences. The aim of the activity is to expose the students to different words which will help increase their vocabulary. After a few months the teacher had found out the students are using more vocabularies. This also reduced the number of spelling mistakes made by the students. By carrying out this activity, the teacher can implement the objective of NPE in classroom activities. This activity helps the students to develop their intellectuality aspect.
The teacher also uses ICT as a teaching aid such as using the LCD to show relevant videos and educational CD's based on the topic of the day. At certain situation, the students are also brought to computer labs and given practice using available online interactive games. The aim of this activity is to expose students to the ICT world as an effort to make them technology savvy. The teacher also expects from this activity the students will learn benefit the use of ICT and do not misuse the advancement in technology. As a result students are able to use the ICT in more effective ways in the learning process. The element of NPE which is to produce individuals who are competent with noble character can be achieved. When students are advanced in technology they can eventually help in the countries development and compete with the developed countries.
The fifth method used to teach the students is by self-learning access centre. In this activity students will be doing given exercises and homework by their own. This activity is done by grouping students. However the teacher will monitor the students from time to time. The aim of this activity is to give the students time to learn independently and at the same time help the weaker students. Through this activity the teacher can actualize the element of NPE which is to develop responsible citizens with personal wellbeing in which these individuals are able to contribute to the family, nation and the country in the future.
In conclusion, the teacher should have a better understanding on the objectives and elements of NPE because the National Philosophy of Education will be guidance throughout their teaching profession and increase commitment of the teacher. Megala Silva Raju (2012) stated that a teacher need to help them be competent according to the pedagogy and skillful in integrating ICT in teaching and learning process. In addition, it is important for a teacher to know the objectives of NPE in order to actualize to actualize the contents of NOE through national curriculum and develop the holistic aspect of individuals. As noted by Zynade (2006), an educator plays a vital role by being open minded to accept the rapid changes in the science and technology especially in ICT. National philosophy of education has implication on the development of the country's education system. The implementation of NPE is the starting point in which the education system was introduced in Malaysia. Therefore, the enforcement of NPE results in the formation of KBSR and KBSM. Through the formation of NPE smart schools were implemented, science and modern mathematics were introduced, and Malay language was replaced by English.