New curriculum for primary schools in 2010
A new curriculum will be introduced at the primary school level in 2010 to make it more holistic and less examination-oriented. Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said this would replace the existing primary school integrated curriculum (KBSR), which was first introduced in 1983 and subsequently reviewed in 2000. “The new curriculum will be based on six key areas to produce holistic individuals,” he told reporters after releasing the third progress report based on the New Education Blueprint 2006-2010. These six areas, he added, were communication, spiritual attitude and values, humanitarianism, science and technology literacy, physical and aesthetics, and personal development. Hishammuddin said the implications of the new curriculum would include changes in the time table, syllabus and curriculum, while teachers will be trained to become more multi-specialised. The emphasis in Years One and Two, he added, would be on ensuring pupils mastered reading, writing, arithmetic and reasoning skills, scientific and ICT knowledge, and nurturing creativity. In Years’Four, Five and Six, he said the emphasis would be on acquiring more complex skills and knowledge. Hishammuddin said the Ministry was also transforming the national assessment system, moving from a centralised examination to a school-based assessment. Suggestions, he added, which were being studied include creating a database of students’ development, reducing the number of examination papers and subjects, and assessing based on semesters. He said the main aim of the transformation was to make learning fun and to move away from an examination-oriented environment. The Ministry, he added, was also transforming technical and vocational education to make it more relevant and attractive to students. The execution of the New Education Blueprint 2006-20 10 is going according to schedule despite the prevailing economic challenges as a result of high inflation and fuel price fluctuations, said Hishammuddin. He said the economic challenges had caused costs to go up by 20 per cent making the ceiling cost for the programme to reach RM5.929 billion. However, as a result of the re-prioritising of projects planned under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, it allowed the PIPP to be continued without any hiccups, he said. The PIPP aims to bring a about a quantum leap in the standard of education in the country so that it is on par with that of advanced countries. Hishammuddin said in terms of progress made, 235 action plans or 73.43 per cent of the 320 listed had been achieved. For this year, he said the emphasis was on bringing about a transformation in the curricula at the pre-school and primary level apart from renewal in the secondary education system including technical and vocational schools. He said the efforts were focused at producing human capital in tune with market needs. On a call by Bintulu Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing asking Sarawak Education Director Dr Julaihi Bujang to resign for allegedly being slow to act on students engaging in sexual activities in Bintulu schools, Hishammuddin said the call by the MP was rather extreme.