PHILOSOPHY is a great way to find meaning in one’s life, explore the deep reaches of the human consciousness, understand what it means to be human and to answer the big questions of life. Yet, this integral part of any holistic education is severely lacking in Malaysia.
The current Moral Studies syllabus is inadequate to provide students with a proper philosophical framework that will teach them critical thinking and allow them to handle life’s difficulties with a greater presence of mind.
Thus, I would like to suggest that the current Moral Studies syllabus be scrapped and replaced with a philosophy module which covers both Eastern and Western philosophical schools of thought.
This would give students a highly diverse intellectual environment, allowing them to develop into successful individuals due to the multitude of philosophical schools available in both the East and West.
Many people have lamented the deterioration of moral standards in the 21st century but few realise that a lack of philosophical education is at the core of it. A study of philosophy will also impart the importance of intellectual rigour in students, thus combating the spread of fake news.
The aim should not be to force students to accept a particular philosophy but rather to give them tools which would allow them to assess each school of thought on its own merits. This kind of education is priceless and will definitely aid in creating model citizens.
I would also like to point out that there is not a single academic institution in Malaysia offering a philosophy course at the tertiary level. This is a lamentable state of affairs and I would like to request that the Education Ministry take urgent action to correct the situation.