KUALA LUMPUR: The school classroom is a place to provide education and not for politics, says Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
Despite the recently passed bill to amend the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age to 18 years old, schools are still subject to all current circulars.
"The school is a place to teach the people about their rights as citizens and must play the role to educate them and not to be abused by political parties," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday (July 18).
Dr Maszlee also noted that schools nationwide currently teaches students about democratic awareness, the Federal Constitution and as well as the democratic system.
"At school level, we have various education programme and exposure on the democratic processes through subjects such as History.
"We are teaching our children to know the parliamentary and democratic system as well as the history of democracy," he said.
On a separate matter, Dr Maszlee also denied changing the national history curriculum and textbooks following claims that the current secondary school content had omitted parts of Malaysia's history – especially pertaining to the Japanese occupation.
"The review has been conducted since 2017 and is conducted in stages – for instance, starting from Form 1, Form 2, and this year is Form 3.
"Most importantly, there are no omissions.
"It was not ommitted or taken out, but it is no longer taught in Form 3 but brought to Form 4.
"So next year, Form 4 will have a new syllabus, where they will see whatever that is claimed is being omitted in a more interesting, mature and fresh way, said Dr Maszlee.
MCA had expressed disappointment that parts of Malaysia's history – especially pertaining to the Japanese Occupation – have been omitted from history textbooks.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said it was unbecoming of the Education Ministry to delete parts which were important milestones in the then Malaya, which was invaded by Japan and also on the suffering faced by the people.
Dr Wee was commenting on media reports in Chinese dailies, quoting activist Tang Ah Chai, as saying that some chapters on the Japanese Occupation between 1941 and 1945 were no longer included.
It was reported that the Form Three history books also did not have chapters on the cooperation between all the races to attain independence.