Instilling unity in children
CHUAH BEE KIM MUAR firstname.lastname@example.org
UNITY and patriotism should be inculcated in the formative years, especially when a child is in primary school. “Children of different ethnic groups should integrate with one another. What happened to songs like Muhibbah?”
Federation of the National Headmasters Councils president, Mas’oud Idris loved the nostalgic composition so much that he started to sing a few lines from the song during an interview at SK Bakri Batu 5 here on Monday.
The song, composed in the 1970s, was popular as it promoted unity and instilled a sense of pride.
Mas'oud, who has been in the teaching profession for four decades, said schools played a major role in shaping a person’s mindset, attitude and beliefs.
“Schools are places where students of various races study, eat and play together.”
Mas'oud said children and adults must embrace the five principles of Rukun Negara, the national charter that instils genuine empathy for one another.
“The Rukun Negara is a crucial ingredient to unite a multiracial society and instil mutual respect.
“It stresses on patriotism, integrity, justice, good manners and morality. This is our identity," he said.
He said unity thrived in Malaysia because its people beam with pride when using the national language.
“Everyone should speak Bahasa Malaysia as it brings people closer. Speaking, writing and learning a common language is what binds each Malaysian together,” he said.
Mas’oud said sports was another unifier that strengthen ties.
“Take badminton champ Datuk Lee Chong Wei for example. Who does not support Lee?”
He said teaching the importance of unity must be done through every subject in school. He said apart from the main school subjects, there should be programmes that made children value unity.
“We create awareness on road safety, finances and the dangers of drug. So, why not unity, too?
“Perhaps, during History lessons, so that the younger generation knows how our forefathers have fought to build Malaysia. How each race contributed to nation building.”
Mas’oud said newer technology, such as social media platforms and other information and communication technology, could disrupt unity if they were abused by the users. He said the key lay in striking a balance between technology and practices that promote unity in real life.
“People play with smartphones more than talking to one another. They may not have friends of different Ministry possibly taking the lead.
“For me, society at large and politicians, too, have equally important roles to play to make this into a reality,” he said, pointing out that integration and unity are not imminent in the outside world in recent times.
“Small and isolated issues are blown out of proportion, and at races in real life, but they do have friends of various races on their social media platform,” he said.
Mas’oud said the Education Ministry’s initiatives, such as the Student Integration Plan for Unity (RIMUP), had helped to strengthen integration among the students from national and vernacular schools. times, find its way into social media and affect unity.
“As such, there is a need to handle such situation wisely and with wisdom,” he said, adding that there must be utmost tolerance, good communication and cooperation to ensure a harmonious nation.
RIMUP was introduced to foster interaction between students in national
“Teachers, students and schools must continue with this effort by organising sports, recreation or cultural events that gather students of all races from different schools.
”This breaks the stigma of ‘you’ being different from ‘me’. Everyone is the same and should respect each other’s differences, be it in culture or tradition,” he said. and vernacular schools in the same district or area through various activities.
Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid had recently said that the ministry was mulling a revamp of the RIMUP programme to up the ante on boosting unity among school students. Audrey Dermawan
Malaysian School Principals Council (MPSM) president and SM Sains Tuan Syed Sheh Shahabudin principal Jamaludin Yaacob (centre) and teacher Goey Seow Hooi (third from right) interacting with school students in Bukit Mertajam.
Teachers helping their students with their schoolwork at SK Bakri
Batu 5 in Muar.