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The formulation of this National Philosophy of Education has begun in 1979 after the Cabinet Committee Report on the Review of Education Policies Implementation. As a matter of fact, the report was focused on the human development in the essential of owning our very locals' philosophy of education. Since then, it has been started to carefully created and declared in 1988 based on education reports and ordinance that combine with various aspects regarding to a multicultural approach to education. Certainly, this formulation of NPE also has been designed based on rational and critical thinking for ensuring the development of productive nations. In other words, NPE is determined by the Malaysian constitution. It is grounded in our national ideologies which have integrated the Rukunegara, New Economy Policy and the National Education Policy too.
The National Philosophy of Education (NPE) with the combination of goals, policies and educational practices is aim to "rationally clarify the current educational practices as well as facilitate the actions and trends of education in the future" (Ministry of Education, 1982). In addition, the FPK has the essence which is "Education in Malaysia is an on-going effort 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 harmonic, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God. Such an effort is to designed to produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards and who are responsible and capable of achieving a high level of personal well-being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the society and the nation at large." In general, the purpose of the NPE is to produce individuals who will be progressive, skillful, competent and responsible while doing their duty as good citizens and also foster unity among various races.
This well-defined National Philosophy of Education (NPE) has used to be the core for every education system in Malaysia. For instance, all primary school curriculums are constructed based on the NPE. Education system in Malaysia has been developed after independence. Before 1982, old Primary School Curriculum or Kurikulum Lama Sekolah Rendah (KLSR) was introduced and implemented. It was designed based on the New Economic Policy (NEP) as settlements for the needs of economic development and promoting unity among races which associated with the purpose of FPK. Later in 1983, KLSR was replaced by the New Primary School Curriculum or Primary School Integrated Curriculum (KBSR). KBSR was provided the same curriculum for all ethnics that help fostering the unity among all races. In 2010, Standard Primary School Curriculum (KSSR) was then introduced to restructure and improve KBSR. Based on the core of FPK, KSSR has focused on developing more holistic individuals that achieve the country's aims and aspirations.
To achieve the desire of National Philosophy of Education (NPE), aspects such as school culture, teachers' responsibility and students' role have to be taken seriously and implemented effectively in all schools. First of all, school has a very important role in realizing the desire of FPK. This is because the school acts as an agent of socialization and agent of individual development by providing the correct and comfortable learning environment for the students. The school provides opportunities to students for capturing a wide range of knowledge and skills that are considered appropriate to continuously development of the society or community. School also provides formal and informal education that covered aspects of 'JERIS' which are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, physical balanced and socially that help in the process of realization of the National Philosophy of Education.
For the role of headmaster, he is indeed the first person to organize and mobilize all matters related to the school's management, administration and academic programmes. He is the main leader of a school that monitors teachers' roles towards achieving the objectives of the school. The headmaster also plays an important role in coordinating curriculum that in line with National Philosophy of Education (NPE) and enhancing the professionalism of teachers. Besides that, teacher is always an important role model for all the students as teacher functions as the students' parent in school that managing all academic matters and students' welfares. The role a teacher is significant for shaping the values and self-development of students. This is because the teacher does not only teach, but also be a guidance, coordinator, innovator and facilitator for the students in school. Not only that, the teacher also has great responsibility for developing potentials of students in comprehensive and integrated way that forms well-balanced individual based on the aspects of 'JERIS'.
For better understanding of how our National Philosophy of Education (NPE) is implemented in our primary school education system, an interview in SJK(C) Yuk Choy with the headmaster, senior assistant and teacher was conducted on 20th February 2013.
According to the interview with the headmaster of SJK(C) Yuk Choy, Madam Leong Bee Chu, she stated that the first activity that was being held was 'Program Buku NILAM' and the following activities were 'Gotong-royong' and 'Moral and Religious Talk'.
'Program Buku NILAM 2012'
Madam Leong was stated that this program of 'Buku NILAM' was implemented and started since Year One of the primary school for the students' reading record until they have completed their schooling. Madam Leong also defined that 'Buku NILAM Program' is a strategy that encourages students' reading habit by giving appropriate recognition according to the participation of students in reading activities that ever held in school.
The purpose of this activity is to nurture the good reading habit among students as the significant way in developing a culture of knowledge in nations is through continuously reading habits. As for the students' achievements of desired level in this 'Buku NILAM Program', Madam Leong was satisfied as the number of students that received rewards and recognition from Ministry of Education has been increased surprisingly. Meanwhile, Madam Leong was also proud that the overall academic performance of students in SJK(C) Yuk Choy has improved with the assistance of this 'Buku NILAM Program'.
This 'Buku NILAM Program' is indeed involves one of the elements in National Philosophy of Education (NPE) which is "Knowledgeable Malaysian citizens" that obligated to produce quality youth for excellent civilization. This activity of 'Buku NILAM" has succeeded in developing students' desire for knowledge. As a result of this activity, students will be more broad and open-minded with the knowledge they gained from the cultivation of reading habits. Besides that, students were also motivated by the recognition and rewards to strive and foster knowledge from this activity.
'Gotong-royong Yuk Choy Primary School' 2012
The 'Gotong-royong Yuk Choy Primary School' was the second activity that held after the Chinese New Year Holiday which was at 30th January of 2012. The activity of 'Gotong-royong' has defined by Madam Leong as an activity that required voluntary participations and efforts from all students to clean the school surroundings.
According to Madam Leong, the aim of this activity is to develop a spirit of love and appreciation from the students towards the school. In addition, the 'Gotong-royong' activity is also aim for strengthening teamwork and indirectly fosters the relationships between the students themselves. The activity of 'Gotong-royong' is also ensuring the students have fully understood that the importance of this activity and willingly cooperate with each other to improve our society.
With the aid of mutual cooperation, Madam Leong was very pleased with the outcomes of the 'Gotong-royong' activity that the school surroundings cleaning has been carried out so easily and progressively by all the students.
In fact, this 'Gotong-royong' activity has the consciousness of elements in National Philosophy of Education (NPE) which is "Malaysian citizens of high moral standards". It has encouraged the good attitude of mutual cooperation that should be possessed by all nations. If all Malaysia citizens are being selfish, we will never have progressive development in our country, it will only rise to greediness that directly increases the gap between the rich and the poor which is a really bad consequence for our nation. Indeed, the activity of 'Gotong-royong' has achieved one of the desires in NPE which is helping the students upholding good and noble moral values as principles in their lives by nurturing good characteristics throughout the activity.
'Moral and Religious talk for the UPSR candidates' 2012
The 'Moral and Religious Talk' was stated by Madam Leong as the third activity that was organized in the primary school. This 'Moral and Religious Talk' was held at the school hall at 6th March 2012. On that day, all the UPSR candidates were gathered together to take part in the talk which conducted by a Chinese Buddhist monk named Hsing Yun.
The objective of this 'Moral and Religious Talk' was to generally provide good advices based on the spiritual principles for the UPSR candidates. Furthermore, Madam Leong indicated that this 'Moral and Religious Talk' was focused on the involvement of connecting benefits of spirituality with the good character that upholds moral values. Besides of moral and religious talk, all the UPSR candidates were also involved in a prayer session with the conductor for good blessing from God for their UPSR examination.
Through this talk, Madam Leong also hoped that it can be guidance for the UPSR candidates to overcome individual emotional problems, such as depression. This is because the talks involved religion and moral values that correlate with improved mental health. Moreover, Madam Leong also expressed that the result of this talk was turned out good as most of the candidates were tended to have a positive attitude even though they were stressing out with their preparation for the exam.
This 'Moral and Religious Talk' is certainly involves two of the elements in National Philosophy of Education (NPE) which are "spiritual element" and "belief in and obedience to God" that help possessing a good character with upholds of moral values throughout the students' entire lives. Based on the interview with Madam Leong, it can be seen that this talk has done well in developing positive attitudes with strong awareness of and believing in God. Not only have those, students also learnt to be thankful for the existence of God and grateful for the gifts from God. Therefore, the spirituality that formed in the students' behavior has helped in fostering the development of a good community.
Next, the interview with the Senior Assistance of SJK(C) Yuk Choy, Madam Tan Sze Ling was conducted. From the, she listed two activities that were being held are 'Sports Day' and 'Celebration of Independence Day'.
'One student one sport game' Sports Day 2012
For realization the importance of 'One student one sport game' that has introduced by the government, sport day was being held in SJK(C) Yuk Choy at 13th May of 2012. All students are required to participate in the sport day by taking part in at least one of the sports games. Before the sports day, students were arranged to different color teams according to their identification number.
Among the benefits of participate in sports, Madam Tan stressed on the sports discipline. This is because she indicated that for individuals who wish to succeed in sports must have good discipline and also self-control to comply with the sports games' regulations. Madam Tan was generously gave an example that a sport player must always be punctual and obey all the rules and instructions from the coach. So that, the participation in a sports game will be indirectly obtain good disciplines.
In addition, Madam Tan also stated that the sports have the objective of helping students to develop a healthier body and also release stress at the meantime. Not only that, leadership qualities, teamwork, helping each other and ready to serve among students were also encouraged throughout the Sports Day.
For the achievements of students during the Sports Day, Madam Tan was quite satisfied as she was rather impressed by the performance of the students. Moreover, through the Sports Day, Madam Tan was also pleased when UPSR candidates were allocated time well accordingly for the sport practices and also time available for their studies.
This Sports Day has indeed involved in one of the elements in National Philosophy of Education (NPE) which is "physical element" that help develop technical, manipulative and social skills in line with physical fitness skills. It can be easily found that this activity has increased the social interactions between the students from different color teams as well as the raised of awareness of the importance of good health. From the activity, students have obviously known and found own talents in sports as well as develop tolerance between different teams from the interactions during Sports Day. Within the framework of Sports Day, it was planned carefully in order to produce a balanced development of students' mental, social, physical and spiritual that in line with achieving the aims of our National Philosophy of Education (NPE).
Celebration of Independence Day
Madam Tan was stated that the school had celebrated Independence Day on Friday, 30th August of 2012. The celebration of Independence Day has defined by Madam Tan as a significant celebration that required participations from all students and teachers. There were various events to celebrate this important day such as class and school building decoration with national flags and also some drama performances that carried out by students.
The objective of the celebration of Independence Day was stressed by Madam Tan is that fostering the spirit of patriotism or love of our own country. Madam Tan was also ensured all the students were able to experience themselves with pride at their own country's Independence Day after undergoing so many hardships before Independence. Therefore, drama performances about the history before our Independence Day was being held to outline the important events for the students' better understanding towards true history of our nations.
Based on the results from the celebration of Independence Day, Madam Tan was happy that all the students were engaged in the celebration. The students were enjoyed witnessing the true history of our nations from the drama performances and this indirectly develops a more meaningful feeling towards the pride of our country that was finally achieved independent at 31st August 1957. Besides that, Madam Tan expressed that this celebration has indeed foster unity among all races. This is because the students were worked together in a role-playing at the dancing performances that involve several races such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban and Kadazan.
As a matter of fact, this celebration of Independence Day has the realization of elements in National Philosophy of Education (NPE) which are "holistic and integrated development of the individuals" and "Malaysian citizens who can contribute to the harmony and betterment of family, society and nation at large". It has been proved that unity can be nurtured and nourished by the celebration of Independence Day through tolerate considerations and love for our country. In addition, with the knowledge that can be obtained from the history of our country, students can be enhanced their five aspects of "JERIS", namely spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically to become a better person to defend and help our country to improve.
Apart from those school activities that have tight bonds with the realization of National Philosophy of Education (NPE), in-class activities are also playing significant role in actualizing the NPE.
In-class debate has defined by Madam Wong Sok Kuen as a formal discussion of an issue given at classroom. Students in class were separated into groups to take turns for the in-class debate and all the students are compulsory to be involved.
Madam Wong was stated that the purpose of in-class debates did not just help the students acquire public speaking skills, it also helped in developing critical thinking skills of the students. Besides that, this activity has provided opportunity for the students to voice out their opinions freely and dynamically. Through the in-class debate, Madam Wong also expressed that as the students spend more time debating, they are most likely will gain more confidence after that. Since there are no involvement of ICT in the groundwork research based on the topics, students exchanged their ideas and opinions in group with the assistance of Madam Wong. Besides that, through debate, students will also gained exposure on global case studies.
Exposure of the students to the different perspectives in a neutral manner has helped students enhance their critical thinking skills and also increases their understanding and respect of other peoples' perspectives and beliefs.
This In-class debate has certainly involved in two of the elements in National Philosophy of Education (NPE) which are "development of individual potentials" and "holistic integrated development of the individual" that indicated the talent of debate will be enhanced through the social interaction with others. In addition, from this activity, students are given the equal opportunity to find out and develop the debate talent. As a matter of fact, the talent and potentials are inter-related and coordinated preferably included intellectual, emotional and social.
Role-play in Class
Madam Wong has defined role-playing as a realistic or hypothetical situation and some characters that presented to the students based on their learning content.
The main purpose of role-playing is to engage the students in a certain scenario by describing the settings and the problem. The role-playing was fun and motivating. In addition, Madam Wong explained that the role-playing also give chances to quieter students to express themselves in more direct manner. Madam Wong also put in some efforts in error correction of the students during their role-play. This is because Madam Wong claimed that mistakes that were corrected straight after the role-play activity can be staying fresh in the students' minds for a long time.
The result of this role-playing activity has pleasantly surprised Madam Wong as the students that included the quieter students are able to present them more effectively after the role-playing gas assessed their understanding towards their learning content.
Indeed, this role-playing activity has the realization of elements in National Philosophy of Education (NPE) which are "intellectual element" and "competent Malaysian citizens". From the activity, it can be clearly seen that the students are able to carry out the task given effectively and efficiently. In the meantime, the students are also able to possess creative, critical and reflective thinking skills based on the scenarios before carry out the activity of role-playing.
According to Madam Wong, game was also selected to be a material of engaging the students during a lesson. As stated by Madam Wong, there were several games such as spelling bee, language puzzle game and also treasure hunt game that can be organized in class.
Madam Wong explained that the purpose of the games is to increase the involvement of the students by making the lesson fun and engaging. In addition, Madam Wong will always prepare some rewards as encouragement for the students to participate. With the alluring rewards from Madam Wong, the students will be acting aggressively by competing with each other. This situation has indirectly enhanced the learning environment for the students to stay concentrate on anything that Madam Wong was going to teach.
As a result, the games activities have succeeded in assist the students to become more knowledgeable like "intellectual element" in National Philosophy of Education (NPE) since the students always strive to acquire true knowledge with the temptation of the rewards. Furthermore, the games activities also helped in promoting one of the elements of National Philosophy of Education (NPE) which is "competent Malaysian citizens" that retain competencies among the students.
Activity of Questions and Answers in class
From the interview with Madam Wong, activity of questions and answers was also held in class.
The aim of conducting this activity was to improve students' comprehension skills by provoking the students with questions that have no answers give directly from the teacher. Madam Wong also indicated that the objective of this activity is to encourage the students to think creatively and beyond while challenging the students to use higher thinking skills. Moreover, Madam Wong stated that most of the time, the questions are given to the students and as a result, the students will find out their answers through discussion or own thinking to answer back the question. In this process of learning, Madam Wong claimed that the students act as active learners who construct knowledge all by themselves.
As a matter of fact, the activity of questions and answers were done quite a significant job in shaping the thinking skills of the students in line with the realization of one of the elements in National Philosophy of Education (NPE) which is "intellectual element". This is because during this activity, the students are active learners that are willing to exchange and share knowledge with others as well as acquire the true knowledge by a lot of efforts and not giving up easily.
There was also a revision class especially held and designed for slow learners by Madam Wong after school. According to Madam Wong, the main purpose of conducting this revision class is to help slow learners and to ensure the slow learners were keeping up with the syllabus that was being taught during the lessons. Madam Wong stated that at first in the process of revision classes, mentoring the slow learners can be a lot difficult than teaching students who are normally doing well. This is because Madam Wong explained that to assist slow learners, it required a lot of patient and efforts to design a unique lesson plan for them.
Madam Wong gave an example that in her revision class with slow learners, she equipped the students with at least three teaching method that were suitable accordingly to their learning styles. To engage the slow learners, Madam Wong combined Visual-learning style, Auditory-learning style and Kinesthetic-learning style together to form another way of mentoring them.
As a result of this revision class, Madam Wong was satisfied with the performance of the slow learners in examination after their participation in the revision classes. Madam Wong expressed her pleasured that before the revision classes, the slow learners are unable to keep up with the syllabus like others and perform well in the exams and right now, the slow learners are able to concentrate in class and also do well in exams.
Indeed, the revision classes have become a significant role in influencing and developing the students learning skills along with the awareness of two of the elements in National Philosophy of Education (NPE) which are "knowledgeable Malaysian citizens" and "Malaysian citizens who are capable of achieving personal well-being". This is because through the revision classes, the slow learners have worked hard to develop knowledge although they have some difficulties in learning. The slow learners did not give up so easily but otherwise possess strong resilience to face and overcome their difficulties in learning.
In conclusion, the National Philosophy of Education (NPE) indeed has significant influences on the development of Malaysia's education system. The main purpose of this implementation of National Philosophy of Education (NPE) is to provide an effective and efficient outline and guideline for students to convey the knowledge through education. As for the main aim of curriculum, it is obligated to ensure that the implementation of NPE is carried out completely in school for the benefits of the students and realization of the aspirations of the Government. Therefore, from the interview that was conducted in SJK (C) Yuk Choy, it can be indicated that all school activities and in-class activities that carried out in the school have certainly based on the NPE as a constant guide and reference for assist students to keep up with the rapid changes of the global. With the implementation of NPE, it is also hoped that the students will develop into holistic and integrated individuals from the aspects of spiritual, emotional, physical, social and intellectual who can contribute to the harmony of family, society and nation.
Questionnaire of Headmaster and Senior Assistance:
Program 'Buku NILAM'
What is the concept of this activity?
When did the activities started to carry out?
How did the students respond?
What is the effectiveness of this activity?
Why was this activity held?
How was it carried out?
'Moral and Religious Talk'
How did the activity help the student?
What is your comment based on this activity?
Is there any improvement from the students?
How was the activity held?
What is the purpose of this activity?
Are there any good responses from the student?
'Celebration of Independence Day'
Why was the celebration carried out?
Are the students happy with the celebration?
Are they parents involved in this celebration?
Questionnaire of Teacher:
Activity of Question and Answer
How did you carry out this activity?
What was the response from the students over this activity?
What did the student gain from this activity?
Are there any problems faced by the teacher?
How do you solve the problems?
Were all the students compulsory to be involved in this activity?
What students obtained from this activity?
Are the students improved from this activity?
Was you satisfy with the performance of the students?
Was this activity made the students interested during the lesson?
Were there any rewards for the students?
What are the rewards for the students?
Were all students satisfied with this activity?
How was the activity carried out?
Did you involve in the role-play?
Name: Leong Bee Chu
Age: 51 years old
Date of birth: 7.6.1962
Address: SJK (C) Yuk Choy. 195, Jalan Sultan Iskandar, 30000 Ipoh.
Years of teaching: 27 years
Name: Tan Sze Ling
Age: 48 years old
Date of birth: 8.3.1965
Post: Senior Assistant
Address: SJK (C) Yuk Choy. 195, Jalan Sultan Iskandar, 30000 Ipoh.
Years of teaching: 22 years
Name: Wong Sok Kuen
Age: 33 years old
Date of birth: 20.2.1980
Address: SJK (C) Yuk Choy. 195, Jalan Sultan Iskandar, 30000 Ipoh.
Years of teaching: 8 years