Students don’t know Malaysia’s history, education conference told

(Bernama) – Many students have poor knowledge of the country’s history despite being able to score ‘A’ in examinations because they merely memorise essays, said historian, Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim.

The renowned academician noted that students today studied history by memorising and not learning by understanding. “In those days, it was difficult to even get 70 marks in history, but now they can score 90 plus.

“Many schoolchildren just memorise essays because they can more or less spot the topics that will come out (in the examinations),” he said in his presentation at the Second Education Nation Conference, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Khoo said many of the students also not only failed to appreciate but also failed to learn about the country’s fascinating history.

“When I asked who was Tun Tan Cheng Lock, they just smiled and did not know the answer. Some of them don’t even know the history of their own school. It is very sad. “If you know history, you will be surprised what this country is made of,” he said.

Khoo said teachers should also re-evaluate their role and be effective educators who could work with students to develop their minds instead of just helping them to score ‘A’ in the examinations.

“I hope our education can help the young to know more about the country, to love the country and be able to do more good for the country,” he added.

The two-day conference is organised by Asian World Summit. It is aimed at gaining insight into how higher education institutions contribute in achieving the direction of the government in establishing Malaysia as a centre of excellence for higher education by 2020, as well as playing a more proactive role in ensuring the employability of their graduates. About 100 participants from the industry are attending the conference.