PETALING JAYA: The national educational system needs to teach students good values and characters beyond imparting knowledge, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"I feel some attention should be given in school from kindergarten to university on discussions about good moral values," said the Prime Minister during a dialogue with students at Toyo University in Japan on Wednesday (Nov 7).
Dr Mahathir, who is on a three-day working visit to Japan, said education systems have become knowledge specific to make students job-ready, but lacked focus in moulding students' character.
"If a student has good knowledge, but has bad character, the knowledge would not benefit the community," Dr Mahathir said.
He adds that as parents become increasingly busy at work, the teaching of good values and character building now falls under the responsibility of the education system.
He said children should learn from an early age that that taking what does not belong to them is bad, but returning the item to the owner is good.
Without naming anyone, Dr Mahathir said some countries have used education as a form of indoctrination.
"I have seen one country at least where young people as young as six years old were taught to adore the leader and think of him as a God who can do no wrong," he said.
He said the end result is an oppressive regime and government.
"It will make the people suffer and the government will fail," he added.
Dr Mahathir arrived at Tokyo on Monday (Nov 5) for a three-day working visit.
Also present were his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
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