Young Malaysians to become citizens of the world


WE are globally interconnected – now more than ever in human history.

News of events taking place halfway across the world reaches our mobile phones faster than we can say “Jack Robinson”!

The Covid-19 pandemic, too, has pushed educational institutions around the world to fully embrace online learning.

These changes require us to produce students with a global perspective and mindset.

Taking cognisance of this and the speed at which globalisation is happening, institutions have increasingly moved towards inculcating 21st century learning in classrooms to allow cross border education to take place and to produce more informed citizens.

Understanding how crucial this is, the Global Citizenship Education (GCED) module has been embedded into the local curriculum.

Launched on the Education Ministry’s online learning platform Digital Educational Learning Initiative Malaysia (Delima) on April 5, the module seeks to educate students on the values, attitudes and behaviours that support responsible global citizenship.

United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) Malaysia education specialist Azlina Kamal told StarEdu that the module helps young people to understand these issues and how to find sustainable solutions.

The module aims to produce learners with global knowledge, she said.

“The goal of GCED is to empower learners to engage and assume active roles, locally and globally, to face and resolve global challenges, and to become proactive contributors to a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable world,” she said.

The experts involved in putting the module together were teachers, subject matter experts and ministry officials from various divisions, under the leadership of former Education director-general Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim, who after 35 years in the civil service, retired the same day the module was launched.

Habibah’s first exposure to what global citizenship meant was when she was helping her son pack to go abroad.

“I was packing stuff like his kain pelikat to remind him of Malaysia but he said: ‘I am a global citizen. I don’t need all these material things to remind me of home because Malaysia is in my heart and in my mind’.

“That was a long time ago but it was my first exposure to the term global citizen,” she recalled laughingly.

She said working with Unicef on the module brings Malaysia on board with what’s happening around the world.

“It links our teachers and schools to others — it puts us on the map and changes how we look at things.

“We need the younger generation to be open and understanding so that they can accept other people’s values and the different approaches to doing things — that’s part and parcel of being a global citizen.

“It’s not about changing your principals but you cannot simply be on your own and not accept others,” she said. – By SANDHYA MENON

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