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An extra subject everytime a new issue crops up
Published on: Saturday, August 05, 2017

By Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow, USM
THERE are short- and long-term solutions to address the issue of heavy schoolbags.

I would like to address the long-term solution —which is sadly ignored by many — which is, that we stop proposing new subjects.

It has been a trend in this country for the powers that be to introduce a new subject simply because a certain social issue has captured the country’s attention.

Take, for example, drug abuse among youth. A concerned individual or non-governmental organisation will ask the government to introduce a new subject solely to address this issue. The same goes for bullying and gangsterism, as well as road safety.

Then there are the politicians who keep reminding the people about the need to understand the history, the spirit of our Constitution, the importance of valuing our multicultural society, each that would require its own single subject to be taught.

Hello! What’s going on?

It would be unfair and cruel to force our pupils to learn everything the adults have failed to learn in their lives.

Proposing a new subject just to address every single issue in the world is ridiculous. There is no shortcut to teach our youngsters about the many social ills that we face. Proposing a new subject to address the matter is not the solution.

If we keep asking the government to introduce new subjects on every issue, our pupils will become stressed and the issue of heavy schoolbags will continue.

Instead of introducing new subjects, the correct approach would be to add the arising social issues to a subject already taught in school.

By this, students as well as teachers will not be overburdened, whether physically or mentally.

Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow, USM

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