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The History Of Education In Malaysia

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 3119 words Published: 5th May 2017

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According to Oxford Dictionaries, philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline. The term “philosophy” is derived from two Greek words that are philosophia, which consist of the root phileo and Sophia. The meaning of phileo is “to love” and sophia means “wisdom”.

It is very important for Malaysia which is a developing country to have its own philosophy of education. Therefore, National Philosophy of Education (NPE) has been enacted in 1998 based on basis documents and national ideology. From a historical perspective, NPE born from a long process which is a nation building process since the independence of Malaysia.

“Education in Malaysia is an on-going effort towards further developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonic, based on a firm belief in and devotion to god. Such an effort is designed to produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards and who are responsible and capable of achieving a high level of personal well-being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the society and the nation at large.”

According to the NPE, there are eight elements of national philosophy of education. Firstly, education is an on-going effort which brings the meaning of education emphasis on life-long learning. Life-long learning is needed because individual’s knowledge is ever-changing as there is no absolute knowledge of each individual. It is important for individuals to adapt to the change of times and new development such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), economy and other current issues. Life-long learning encourages individuals to develop their personal skills and knowledge. Secondly, holistic and integrated manner is the universal body of knowledge which must be taught by the teachers and learnt by the students. It is important to develop the individual’s potential and abilities in a holistic and integrated manner. This is because talents, potentials and abilities do not develop separately as they are related and co-ordinated and do not compete with each other. The development of the individual and their improvement should properly include the four aspects which are physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual. Besides, firm belief and devotion to God is a must for individuals regardless what their religion is. It is an element of the existence and role of the religion.


According to the Ministry of Education, in the Malaysian context, curriculum means all programs that were carried out by a school or educational institution to achieve the target of education. Curriculum is a well-organized plan that includes academic and non-academic activities which include the educational objectives, the experience of planned and the evaluation of student achievement. It is a plan that covers all the knowledge, skill, values and norms of cultural elements and beliefs of the society to be transferred to their inheritance. Curriculum can be divided into three which are curriculum as a programme that has been planned and implemented in schools, curriculum as a programme designed and practically implemented in the classroom and curriculum is filling of a culture of life-long learning and individual and group experience. The main components in a curriculum are the contents of the curriculum, the objectives of the curriculum, the learning and teaching activities and the assessment process of curriculum. Teachers play an important role in the implementation of the curriculum that includes interpreting, plan, modify and implement the curriculum.


Malaysia has undergone three curriculums of primary education so far since the country got the independence. The three concepts of primary education are Old Primary School Curriculum (KLSR), New Primary School Curriculum or Integrated Primary School Curriculum (KBSR) and Standard Primary School Curriculum (KSSR).

Old Primary School Curriculum (KLSR) was the first curriculum that has been used and was implemented during 1960. It was the first phase of the implementation of the plan that has been enacted in the education system in the Education Act 1961. In this phase, the educational system was oriented to eliminate the literacy among students. The assessment was the important aspect in KLSR so it has many types of assessment such as Ujian Lisan Bahasa Melayu (LCE) which then has been removed and replaced by Sijil Rendah Pelajaran (SRP) on 1978, Ujian Diagnostik Darjah Tiga and Assessment Test Standard Five. However, it had lots of weaknesses such as the content of its syllabus had repetition and was not related to each other so it was hard to be implemented well. Besides, the syllabus was too much and made students bored in the classroom. The co-curriculum activity was also separated and was not related to the formal curriculum in the classroom. This concept was abolished since there were too many feedbacks that wanted the curriculum to be changed.

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The new curriculum was New Primary School Curriculum (KBSR) which has been introduced in 1982 after the Cabinet Committee’s Report made a change on the Implementation of Education Policy. KBSR was fully implemented in 1983 and the name was changed to Integrated Primary School Curriculum (KBSR) on 1993. Even the name was changed but its content was still the same. Its curriculum written was based on learning outcomes. KBSR had its objectives which students master the Bahasa Melayu at satisfactory level besides stress on 3R’s basic skills that were reading, writing and arithmetic. KBSR’s curriculum design was based on three areas and its materials were study syllabus. Its principles were integrated approach, one education for all, life-long learning and holistic development of individual. An examination that has been carried out was the National Examination (UPSR). Unfortunately, it had its cons although it had brought positive changes in Malaysia’s education. A few of KBSR principles had not implemented well in the teaching and learning process because it has been focused more on achieving grade A’s in the examination. So, the objective to develop excellent individuals was not achieved as they were not learning to gain more knowledge, experiences and skills but learnt to prepare for the examination only.

Phase I, Malay Language, English Language, Chinese Language, Tamil Language, Mathematics, Islamic Education, Moral Education, Music Education, Art Education and Physical and Health Education

Phase 2-Malay Language, English Language, Chinese Language, Tamil Language, Islamic Education, Moral Education, Science, Local Studies, Living Skills, Music Education, Art Education and Physical and Health Education

The concept of KBSR has been replaced by Standard Primary School Curriculum (KSSR) that was implemented in 2011. In KBSR, it focussed on 3R’s but KSSR focussed on 4R’s basic skills which reasoning was being add-on. However, KSSR still acquired basic skills in every student same as in KBSR which also practiced the moral values. Its curriculum written was a little bit different from KBSR which it was based on content and learning standards. KSSR’s curriculum materials were curriculum standard documents and its design was based on six areas as communication was still being carried out. It evaluates students by National examination (UPSR) and school-based assessment.

A basic core modules that are taught in KSSR for phase 1 are Malay Language, English Language, Chinese Language, Tamil Language, Mathematics, Islamic Education, Moral Education and Physical and Health Education. The core module themes are Visual Art and Music, Science and Technology World and Malaysia Negaraku. The elective modules for this phase are Chinese or Tamil Language for Primary School, Arabic and Iban Language. In phase 2 there are respective modules that categorized each subject. The modules are communicated; elective communication; spiritual attitude and values; physics and aesthetics; science and technology; and humanity. Subjects for each module are Malay Language, English Language, Chinese Language and Tamil Language; Chinese or Tamil Language for Primary School, Arabic, Iban, Semai or Kadazandusun Language; Islamic and Moral Education; Physical and Health Education, Music or Visual Arts Education; Mathematics, Science and Design and Technology; and History or Malaysia Negaraku.

Before a new concept is implemented, a trial will be conducted for a given period until there is a command to run the concept or else, the trial will be stopped if it is not suitable to students need. In conclusion, the curriculum will always change over time. There is no wrong to make a difference or change because change for the better is well recommended. As it will change with time, it will always be improved for students to have a better education in order to form a good community besides gives advantages to the country.





Teachers’ Day Celebration

Teachers’ Day is celebrated on 16th of May every year as a sign to appreciate the teachers’ contributions in developing the human capital that is essential in the construction of society. Teachers are also known as ‘social architects’ because they are not only providing education and imparting knowledge but they are also serving to realize the transformation of education based on the NPE. There are six objectives of the celebration of teachers’ day in Malaysia that are emphasizing the role of teachers in nation building including unity and integration, national development and community service. Besides, it is celebrated to attract the attention of parents, students and the public on the important role of teachers in the Malaysian society and fostering a sense of professional cohesion and goodwill among the teachers. Teachers’ day celebration can raise the prestige and status of teachers in the community. It is also to provide opportunities for teachers to develop competencies through seminars and conferences held on Teachers’ Day. Objectively assess the role of a teacher with a backdrop of Malaysia and to take steps so that more effective role. The celebration of teachers’ day is organized by the teachers’ charity organization. The day began with an official assembly filled with programme such as sing the National Anthem Song, the State Song, the school Song and ‘Guru Malaysia’ Song. Besides, the headmaster will read special deputations from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education which the texts are related to the theme of the Teachers’ Day Celebration. Every year, the theme of the Teachers’ Day Celebration will be changed. A variety of exciting events have been organized by the school after the assembly in order to enliven the celebration and enhance the friendly feeling among teachers and teachers, teachers and students also students and students.

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Sports Day

The growth of outstanding child is formed from a combination of intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional and social potential as it is contained in the National Philosophy of Education. Hence, for the development of a balanced human being, then the school will hold a sports day to lead to the formation of the balanced human being. It is implemented with the parents’ collaboration to strengthen the social relationship with the community. The goals of the Sports Day is to produce excellent students who are balanced in terms of physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and social development in line with the NPE. Furthermore, the objectives are to fulfil the students’ need in sports and recreation, to produce individuals who always compete others in good ways and to foster the spirit of cooperation and working together as a team. In addition, Sports Day is to find the students’ talents in sports to higher levels and choose students to represent the school to the MSSD Championship. The sports day will be on February or March and two events will be held that are field events and track events. There are three field events that are high jump for students under 12 and under 10, broad jump for students under 12, shot put for boys and girls students under 12 and 10 with the same weight that is 2.72 kg. The track events are 80 m and 200 m for boys under 12, 80 m for boys under 10, for girls under 12 the track will be 80 m and 200 m while girls under 10 will be 80 m only. There are also 80 m hurdles for students under 12, 2000 m walk for boys and girls under 12, 4×100 m and 4×200 m for students under 12 and 50 m relay for students under 12. Before the sports day, a selection day will be held to choose the best students among the rest to represent their team. The State of Education Department will provide an allocation to conduct the sports day.

Independence Day

The Independence Day of Malaysia was on 31st of August 1957 and we as Malaysian will celebrate the day every year as it is a public holiday on that day. The programme also is celebrating in school to inspire the spirit of independence in teachers as well as in students in order to recognize the importance of Independence Day celebrations. Engender a sense of pride and love for the nation and put self-interest above national interest among the school is one of the objectives of the celebration. Secondly, produce school’s community that is responsible as citizens of Malaysia to maintain independence, adopted a patriotic behaviour and proud toward the country’s independence. Lastly, Independence Day can create a sense of unity and lasting peace and continuous among the school from different races, religions and customs. The Independence Day began with an assembly filled with programme such as sing the National Anthem Song and Independence Song such as, ‘Tanggal 31’, ‘Anak Malaysia’ and ‘Jalur Gemilang’. In addition, there will be a film showing on an independence movie that is ‘Leftenan Adnan’ and a slide show on the history of the Independence Day of Malaysia by using a projector in a hall. The figures of the Independence Day will be called to share their experiences during the colonial period. Furthermore, there will be performances from students and the performances must be about the Independence Day.

Language Month

Language Month that organized by the Malay Language subject panels was held in school to feature students’ talent especially at school level, region, district, state and national level. This could indirectly produce students who are brave and confident with their own abilities. Hopefully with the availability of this month, the students will understand and love the Malay Language as it is an important language and should be learned in depth. Language month’s objectives are to provide an opportunity for students to express their talents and to be featured to higher level. Besides, it is to test the students’ understanding of their knowledge related to Malay Language, to encourage them to compete in a good way to get the best place, particularly in relation to language and to produce students who are competent in the field of language. There are many competitions that will be held during this month such as story telling competition that all students can taking part in it, poetry competition for students above 10 and essay writing competition also for students above 10 and there will be prizes for the winners.

Co-curriculum Day

Co-curriculum Day is a must event in most of schools in Malaysia and no date adjusted for every school by the department hence, schools can freely choose their date to organize this programme. The goal of the Co-Curriculum Day is intended to achieve some goal which is growing nature work together, compromise, and the bond of unity among students and teachers, produce potential future leaders among pupils and to improve the school environment more exciting and cheer the students in order to produce a superior school culture. Co-Curriculum Day objective is to encourage students active and interested in co-curricular activities organized by the school or a particular party. Among them are fostering unity works in a group association, club or uniform units, to produce students of the utmost caliber and dedication and ability to be a caliber leader. Last but not least, to encourage pupils to work in the aspect of leadership can foster an attitude and discipline. Among the activities that will be held are sales booths, books exhibition, national anti-drug exhibition, marching by uniform units and telematches.


I have made an interview with a teacher from SK Putrajaya Presint 9(2) about the way she handle students in the classroom. Based on the interview and my experience, students find hands-on activities are more exciting than lecture-based style learning and they tend to focus more on that.


Quiz is a test of knowledge, especially as a competition between individuals or teams as a form of entertainment or asks someone questions according to the Oxford Dictionary. Classroom quiz shows can be beneficial to students for many reasons. Short quiz at the beginning of each class is usually preferred by teachers in their classroom. Short quiz is beneficial for students for many reasons because it helps students to focus and develop their essential problem-solving skills as certain lecture. It is not just a quiz because it is also an emergency motivation for students. It is a very effective motivation as it can increase the students’ effort and their learning outcomes as well as for those who have low motivation and have high intelligence.


The action or process of talking about something in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas is the definition of discussion based on Oxford Dictionary.

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