Thursday, 30 October 2008

Another Burden for the School Kids

The Prime Minister recently suggested that History be taught in primary schools. That predictably provoked outbursts from parents who think that their lovable kids already are heavily burdened by the existing subjects they have to learn. Already troubled by the existing debate over using English as a medium of instruction for Science and Maths, the parents now have to contend with this new issue.

History as it is taught currently in Malaysian schools has failed miserably in inculcating a sense of belonging and unity among the races. History as it is learnt in our school is remembering dates and events. Furthermore, in the Malaysian context, the contributions of other races in the history of development has been down played.

As it is often been said, History is for the victors; thus History in that sense is always written from the perspective of the victors. Thus, as Ahmad Fuad said, history is 'false memory'. A good example is the way the Japanese presented their sanitized version of the Second World War to erase from the collective memory of young Japanese children the atrocities committed by the Imperial Army.

Ahmad Fuad's view of History is graphically displayed in his artwork. He lamented the younger generation's lack of historical awareness, which is also compounded by 'false memory'.

The images of this presentation are taken from Rimbun Dahan

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