Knowledge On Asean Should Be Taught From Primary School. First Teach About the Different Races In Malaysia.
"I think much more needs to be done to address the shortcomings in terms of introducing Asean to people at an early stage in our education system. I suggest that the education system in Asean countries give due emphasis on imparting knowledge about Asean even as early as at the primary school level," she said.
**** I appreciate the concern of Puan Noriah about the importance of knowing more about our fellow Asean brethren from an early age. As she says, it will foster love and a deep sense of belonging. No harm at all in her suggestions. However don't you think before embarking on an Asean 'journey' we should first set things right at home?
It would be extremely beneficial to the fostering and inculcating of genuine and true love and sense of belonging if we were to start from primary schools, the learning of our own citizens' different cultures, traditions, languages and religions. That would be a thousand times more useful to us than learning about other countries, far or near. Instead of taking this logical approach, just to satisfy some vague, base instincts of a few, we are downplaying our own heritage and over-exaggerating the arab influence on all our peoples.
Half the country could not be bothered about learning Arabic history or culture and dismiss it as totally irrelevant, while some in the other half, pretend that they are actually Arabs! This dichotomy in our lives has been extended to our school syllabus which sometimes I feel should be renamed sillybus. We should be emphasising on the history of the Malays from the time of the proto-Malay and beyond, while with equal enthusiasm we should be teaching our kids about the rich, knowledgeable and historically respected Chinese and Indian civilisations spanning at least five thousand years and which have had a much greater impact and influence on the Malays than what is being grudgingly acknowledged now. We should be told in great detail the history of our fellow citizens in Sabah and Sarawak and our children should from primary one be taught to embrace all of our rich cultures as their very own. That is the way to go, and not down some narrow path of blind self-delusion.
So by all means teach our children about Asean, but don't forget to tell them about their immediate neighbours who are their fellow citizens of Malaysia.