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Need to revamp history syllabus? I think revamp our value system is more appropriate

Besides our history book is biased against non-Malay’s contribution, such ignorance amongst young generation is something to do with our book-worm oriented examination system. They learn to pass examination, not for the sake of knowledge.

These young goons mostly know when is Andy Lau’s birthday, for sure forget their own parents’ birthdays.

Need to revamp history syllabus

SOMETHING surprising happened to me after work today. I was looking at some pictures of Gandhi and one of my colleagues who is fresh out of college saw them and asked me who it was.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/10/16/focus/4912973&sec=focus

I was shocked that he did not know Gandhi.

So I decided to do some research and show the pictures to other colleagues below the age of 25. None of them could identify Ghandi. One even said that it was Mr Bean!

So I decided to test their basic world history knowledge. I asked them about historical figures such as Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane and Christopher Columbus. I was astonished that none of them knew what I was talking about.

I then tested them about more recent world figures such as Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Gorbachev, Nixon and JFK. Some had heard of their names but none knew what these figures did during their lifetime.

Next, I tested their knowledge of the most important historical event in the 20th century, World War II. I showed them a picture of Hitler. Most of them heard of Hitler but none of them knew Mussolini.

I asked them where they heard Hitler’s name and one colleague said it was from Tom Cruise’s Valkrie.

The worst is yet to come. None of them knew local historical figures like Francis Light, Frank Swettenham, J.W.W. Birch, Ahmad Boestaman, Ibrahim Yaacob or Sybil Karthigasu. Mention the name Loke Yew and all they know is Jalan Loke Yew.

Why am I writing this letter? I am heartbroken to realise that our Malaysian education system has produced youths who are totally clueless about history.

Something is definitely wrong with our History syllabus.

I am told that the current Malaysian History syllabus does not emphasise world history and pre-Merdeka Malaysian history. This is definitely something very serious and the damage is already showing very clearly in our youths today.

The neglect of History is getting worse and if nothing is done, I am afraid the History knowledge of our future generations will be even more terrible.

Everything today’s youth know about History is from popular culture such as Hollywood movies and video games. Just imagine that in the future, the best History teacher in Malaysia will be Tom Cruise!

VINCENT OW,

Petaling Jaya.

The nkkhoo.com comment board with Facebook account.