Home Latest News Current Affairs Memorandum of The Proposals on Religious Education to “The Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Preliminary Report”

Memorandum of The Proposals on Religious Education to “The Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Preliminary Report”

Friday, 21 December 2012 00:00

The teaching of the traditional religions plays a vital role in the development of a country as well as promotes harmony in a plural society. Hence, religious education must be included in the Malaysian Education System and it must be in line with the National Education Philosophy. It is important to nurture respect and tolerance in our children by having them learn about and understand all major religions practiced in our country. The “Rohani” (Spiritual) aspect of the Malaysian Education Philosophy of the development of “Jasmani, Emosi, Rohani and Intelek” must be enhanced in our education of pupils of all religions in this country.

The current Malaysian Education System which lacks non-Islamic religious education may have caused a barrier in the mutual understanding required and hence adversely affected the unity among the people with different faiths in our society. The Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Preliminary Report which highlighted only a single religion has overlooked the contributions of the non-Islamic religions in the development of this country. The Malaysian Constitution safeguards the freedom of religion and the freedom of religious belief in our country. With this in mind, we urge the Government to seriously look into the needs of non-Muslim students with respect to their own religions.

In light of the above, we now request for an Education Blueprint which recognises religious diversity and emphasizes the importance of religious education. Accordingly, we, 1) Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM), 2) Fo Guang Shan Malaysia, 3) Fo Guang Education Centre Bhd, 4) Fo Guang Foundation, 5) Malaysia Christian Youth Association, 6) Buddha's Light International Association (Malaysia Chapter) , 7) Rantau Buddhist Association, 8) Vajrayana Buddhist Council of Malaysia, 9) Persatuan Penganut Berugama Buddha Air Kala, 10) Persatuan Buddhis Selayang, 11) United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia, 12) Dharma Drum Mountain Malaysia Center, 13) The Klang & Coast Buddhist Association, 14) Persatuan Penganut-penganut Agama Buddha Simpang Renggam, 15) The Segamat Buddhist Society, 16) Persatuan Pengajian Agama Buddha Kulai, 17) Raub Buddhist Association, 18) Persatuan Buddhhist Kemaman, 19) Persatuan Penganut Agama Buddha Paloh, 20) Persatuan Buddhist Gurun, 21) Gabungan Persatuan Alumni Universiti Taiwan, Malaysia, 22) Persatuan Buddhist Kedah Tengah, 23) Geha Bodhi Care Centre, 24) Persatuan Penganut Agama Buddha Triang Hilir, 25) Persatuan Penganut Agama Buddha Dungun, 26) Persatuan Penganut Agama Buddha Pertang, 27) Persatuan Penganut Buddha Bodhi Kuala Lumpur, 28) Pusat Buddhisma Kemanusiaan Melaka, 29) Perlis Buddhist Society, 30) Mengkarak Buddhist Association, 31) Tanah Merah Buddhist Society, 32) Persatuan Penganut Agama Buddha Ju Shi Lin Kuala Krai, 33) The Gua Musang Buddhist Association, 34) Persatuan Penganut Buddha Kuala Krai, 35) Kelantan Buddhist Association Youth Section, 36) Persatuan Buddha Wakaf Bharu Kelantan, 37) Shah Alam Buddhist Society, 38) Persatuan Penganut Agama Buddha Kampung Baru Dangi, 39) Erdi Buddhist Temple, 40) Persatuan Buddhis Jong Shan, 41) Persatuan Buddhist Pontian, 42) Persatuan Penganut Buddha Ching Kang, 43) Robson Heights Buddhist Society, 44) Persatuan Penganut Buddhis Mentakab Pahang, 45) Sasana Abhiwurdhi Wardhana Society Youth Section, 46) Lundu Buddhist Society, 47) Persatuan Agama Buddha Prajna Seremban, 48) Persatuan Penganut Agama Buddha Sauk, 49) Pertubuhan Penganut Agama Buddha Ulu Tiram, 50) Research For Social Advancement, 51) Persatuan Penganut Agama Buddha Yuan Jue Chan Malaysia, 52) Kuching Tze Yin Buddhist Orthodox Association, 53) Persatuan Penganut Agama Buddha Amitabha Kuala Kangsar, 54) The United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, 55) Persatuan Buddhist Paka, 56) The Penang Buddhist Free School Ex-Pupils Association, 57) Persatuan Triyana Dharma Cakra Vihara, 58) Jitra Buddhist Association, 59) Theravada Buddhist Council of Malaysia, 60) Guan Yin Temple Buddhist Society, 61) Sarikei Buddhist Orthodox Association, 62) Persatuan Buddhis Karak, 63) Taiping Biddhist Society, 64) Batu Niah Buddhhist Society, 65) Pertubuhan Penganut-penganut Agama Buddha, Johor, 66) Than Hsiang Buddhist Welfare Association, 67) Persatuan Buddhist Sitiawan, 68) Bukit Beruang Buddhist Society, 69) Persatuan Penganut Agama Buddhis Mengkuang, 70) Miri Buddhist Society (1993) , 71) Malaysia Hindhudharma Mamandram, 72) The Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) , 73) Terengganu Buddhist Association, 74) Terengganu Buddhist Youth Circle 75) Persatuan Belia Xiang Lian Malaysia

would like to officially propose five points and strategies to be included in the Education Blueprint:

First Proposal: To implement non-Islamic religious classes at all primary schools so as to shape children with good character and ethical and moral values.

Strategy: This can be implemented in stages, starting with the older children in primary schools. We propose that one period per week is allocated for religious class and that the subject is non-examination based. We, together with other national non-Islamic religious organisations, will work with the Curriculum Development Centre (Bahagian Pembangunan Kokurikulum – BPK) to provide the necessary syllabus and instructors’ guide, as well as the relevant trainings to the teachers.

Second Proposal: To establish non-Islamic religious societies in schools as part of their extra-curricular activities and for the students to be able to earn extra-curricular marks for participation in these societies.

Strategy: To instruct officials in the Ministry of Education and headmasters of all schools to execute and implement the “Education Circular 2011” (SURAT PEKELILING IKHTISAS BILANGAN 2 TAHUN 2011), that is, to approve and assist the formation of the non-Islamic religious societies in schools when the requirements have been met. We, together with other national non-Islamic religious organisations, will assist in the establishment of these religious societies in all primary and secondary schools and provide necessary resources and trainings.

Third Proposal: To strengthen the narrative on the development of all major religions in the History Textbook for secondary schools, and to provide proper explanations and clarification on the teachings of all major religions practiced in our country.

Strategy: A section in the History Textbook for use in secondary schools (there are a few chapters in each section) should be allocated to elaborate on the teachings of all major religions, their formation and developments, the importance of these religions to human civilization, as well as the contributions of the major religions to the development of our nation.

Fourth Proposal: To support and encourage secondary school students to volunteer at charitable organisations, religious organisations / institutions or other non-profitable organisations and for these students to be able to earn extra-curricular marks for such participations.

Strategy: This practice is very common in developed countries and has helped in reducing the crime rate among youth, as well as in nurturing the youth in becoming more caring and sensitive to the less privileged. We, together with other national non-Islamic religious organisations, will assist in recommending a list of the participating religious organisations and institutions.

Fifth Proposal:A section in the History Textbook for use in primary schools (there are a few chapters in each section), which will be introduced in 2014, should be allocated to elaborate on the teachings of all major religions, importance of these religions to human civilization, as well as the contributions of the major religions to the development of our nation.

Strategy: The Ministry of Education should value the importance of all religious teachings, as well as their contributions to our nation building. We, together with other national non-Islamic religious organisations, will work together with the Curriculum Development Centre (Bahagian Pembangunan Kokurikulum – BPK) to devise a suitable content for that section in the History Textbook.