MOE to Redress Untrue History Learning Materials Urged— Establishment of Cross Ethnic Experts Committee for Review Proposed

Joint Statement Released by Dong Zong and Jiao Zong

April 21, 2021

MOE to Redress Untrue History Learning Materials Urged—

Establishment of Cross Ethnic Experts Committee for Review Proposed

 

Of late, the History learning materials published by the MOE once again triggered disputes; some scholars pointed out the extant History coursebooks have long been focusing on ethnic Malay and Islam and they either provide little contents or mention nothing for other ethnic groups thus cannot reflect the inherent reality of the country. Informed by this, Dong Jiao Zong herewith urges the Ministry of Education to take immediate measures to redress the shortcomings of secondary school History coursebooks introduced by the Ministry.

In reality, the History coursebooks for primary and secondary schools published by the MOE have been known to embed strong unary element, excludability and distorted imbalance in presentation, apart from not comprehensively reflecting the country’s multiracial, multicultural and multi-religious inherence; they therefore ended up not embodying national history spirit. It not only misleads the students, but also makes it hard for new generations to genuinely and comprehensively learn about her history. Moreover, students from particular ethnic groups and Sabah as well as Sarawak will feel like being excluded and marginalised. What is happening backfires the country’s pluralistic inherence and the generated disputes have long been compromising national integrity and belongingness which is detrimental to the stability and advancement of the country. We hence believe the government needs to honestly redress and address this severe issue.

The National Unity Blueprint 2021-2030 forwarded in February this year has mentioned its intent to promote national unity via History education. In view of this, Dong Jiao Zong urges the government to honour its promises by convening learned experts and educators to set up a committee for the solution of the various problems generated by the History coursebooks, including the review of History curriculum in the National Curriculum Standard and Assessment Document (DSKP), as well as the composition of writing team for History coursebooks and supervision committee jointly formed by experts and educators from different ethnic groups including Sabahans and Sarawakians.

We believe, the rampant spread of racial and religious extremism and scurrilous speeches are caused by the unary mindset exhibited by the government in its governance over the years, yet the government has not positioned itself immediately and addressed the problems, and it is disappointing and worrying to the people. We also reckon, the government should take immediate actions and enforce preventive measures when the said matter occurs and not simply tight-lipped leaving it to worsen and ravage. Take for instance, in the recent racialisation of the Physical Exercise subject which regulated certain sports to be reserved for particular ethnic group in a national high school (Batu Pahat), the government was expected to take initiative and immediate action to redress the issue.

The secondary school curriculum standard of the MOE highlights the objectives of higher order thinking and critical thinking. Zong Jiao Zong opines, the government needs to redesign and reformulate the curricular objectives and outlines of History education in such a way to provide leeway for students to discuss, reflect and make comments in History learning, for the fostering of a ready listener for diverse views, as well as the broadening of their eyesight in a bid to develop their reasoning competency, if not more, to eventually be an open-minded person with a sense of belonging.

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