Tuesday, 23 October 2007

This is the opinion article written by yours truly :

It’s a pure waste of time

I READ with interest the topic on whether Moral Education should be retained or replaced in schools (StarEducation, Oct 7).

As a secondary school student myself, I personally believe that Moral Education does not bring much benefit.

It is simply a subject whereby students memorise the definition of certain moral values.

It is also one subject which many students fear as there have been reports of students not scoring well in this subject.

The examination format for Moral Education is too rigid. In the SPM exam, we cannot give our own answers. Instead, we must choose an answer from the options provided.
We always have to write what the examiner wants, even if our own answers are more “reasonable”. What is the point of studying a subject like that?

I also agree with fellow students who say that having a good grade in Moral Education does not mean you are disciplined. There are lots of students who behave badly, and are top scorers in Moral Education.

All this just goes to show that memorising moral values does not mean we will practise them.
As an example, look at the value berdikari or “be independent”.

If the subject is really effective in imparting this value, why are there so many students still relying on their maids or parents to open and close doors, cook, and bring out dishes for them?
Besides, we learn moral values in other subjects too.

In Geography and Science, for instance, we learn to keep the environment clean and unpolluted. In Chemistry, Physics and Biology, we learn to conduct experiments honestly. In History, we learn to be patriotic and avoid the mistakes of the past.

So, my question is – why do we need to learn moral values a second time?

My teacher recently reminded us that in the SPM, we are not allowed to write outside the lines provided for answers. We cannot even draw our own lines if our answers need more space than what is given.

What if a certain student has big handwriting? Is it fair to ask him to change his handwriting just so he can squeeze in his answer in the space given?

And if the subject is Moral Education, shouldn’t the examiners be compassionate and empathise with us, and still mark our answers, irrespective of whether they are written on or outside the lines given?

Why the strict exam structure? Are we better people if we have tiny handwriting?
I understand that if the definition of a value is required, every single word must be correct. So, if we write serta instead of dan, or dapat instead of boleh, we will lose marks.

Now, I can understand it if our words change the meaning of the answers completely but in these cases, the meaning is nearly, if not completely, the same. How can this make us better citizens?

In conclusion, I think the subject Moral Education should be replaced. It is a waste of time and brainpower.

SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT Via e-mail
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