TEACHING KIDS GOOD VALUES IN SCHOOL
It is to inculcate character-building, values in students, says Dr M
THERE is a need to change certain aspects of the school curriculum so that educators can inculcate character-building modules and values in students at a young age.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said there was a possibility that reform would take place in the curriculum used for early childhood education to make room for imparting of values, such as hard work, national pride and pride in quality of work.
He said this was important as the ways that values were imparted now were different compared with the past, as the hectic pace of modern life did not give parents enough time to teach these values to their children.
“In the old days, of course, values were implanted in children by the parents.
“But nowadays, parents are too busy. Mother and father are working, no quality time spent with their children…
“So, the implementation of values must be done at the kindergarten-level because they are more receptive when they are young.
“If we have a good programme to inculcate good values in our children, they will grow up to be morally correct.
“They will show respect to old people, to their parents and all that, and I think they will become people of good character who are most likely to succeed,” Dr Mahathir said in an exclusive interview with The Third Age Media Association and Bernama News Channel at Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya recently.
He said a person’s values determined his or her success in life, and by extension, a society’s value system would determine a country’s success.
In citing Japanese society as an example, Dr Mahathir said their hard work and ability to manufacture quality goods stemmed from their great sense of national pride and their sense of shame if they did something bad or fared poorly in things they set out to do.
He said Japan recovered very quickly after World War 2 because of its society’s values.
“So, they want to avoid bringing shame upon themselves, which means that whenever they do something they want their products to be recognised by people as good quality products. Then they will feel proud.
“But if they produce things that are of poor quality, they feel ashamed of themselves. So, these are values that we have to implant in our children at a young age. Since parents cannot do that anymore, we have to do this at schools.
“We are going to change certain parts of the curriculum to include shaping of character at a young age.”
He said imparting good character and values during the early stages of a child’s education needed to be done as it worked hand-in-hand with the learning process.
“We have to include (elements on) the moulding of character.
“You see, you give knowledge to somebody but (if) you don’t shape his character to use his knowledge, he uses that knowledge for bad things.
“The knowledge can be used for good or bad (things).
“I always compare (the situation) with a knife... If the knife is in the hands of somebody of bad character, his usage of the knife will be bad.
“But if you teach him good character, he will make full use of the knife to carve beautiful things and to do good things.
“So, that is what shapes a person.”
Dr Mahathir, who admitted at being concerned over the values practised by Malaysians, said a person could reach greater heights of success when he or she worked hard and upholds good character.
“I believe that people are the same, capacity-wise they are the same, but it is the value system.
“If people are hardworking, they are going to succeed.
“But if they are laidback, lazy and postpone everything, they are not going to succeed in their lives.”