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Date [ 2014-08-01, 05:40 ]

New advancements in education in third world countries has raised the possibility of  how work may be integrated into the Malaysian educational system.

Two young mothers learning to write in a literacy class conducted by Literacy House at a village near Lucknow, in India.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) Azmi Anuar = A paper which appeared in the Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, Universiti Putra Malaysia, has suggested the integration of work into the school curricula of developing countries. It extols increased enrolment, reduction of drop-out rates and equipping students with the generic competencies they need to participate in the labour market.

India seems to have taken the lead in this new form of education. Asfa M. Yasin of the PSS Central Institute of Vocational Education in Bhopal, India states, “In the last five to six decades in education, as in all walks of life, we have moved from cooperation to competition as a model for living.” There has been cooperation too from the Indian government.

In the interests of developing an educational system that promotes values such as self-sustenance, happy and healthy living in a safe and pollution-free environment, India's National Council of Educational Research and Training has proposed revolutionary changes in its National Curriculum Framework (2005), including what could be the most profound and effective change. This is the integration of productive work with academic subjects.

Based on Ghandian philosophy, “work-centred education” (WCE) would assign a central place for learning practical, work-related skills within the school system. In the process, students would develop an understanding of scientific and mathematical concepts, geographical, social and environmental issues as well as generic competencies, noted Yasin. “WCE would provide opportunities for students to undertake productive work that not only unfolds their potential, creativity and innovation but also illustrates the “world of work” that exists around them,” she revealed.

“Among its potential benefits, a WCE curriculum would replace rote learning with experiential learning, make learning more enjoyable, provide opportunism for enhancing creativity and innovation, facilitate employment, and instill values such as respect for manual work and workers,” added Yasin. The curriculum would then be based on the children’s’ age and stage of education, students could be assigned to classes focused on learning a wide range of food processing, agriculture, technology, or arts and crafts skills. These work related studies would be tailored to the needs of the students themselves.

Yasin pointed out that the institutionalisation of WCE in the school system creates scope to ensure that from toddlers to teenagers, a nation’s youngsters are well equipped to handle life as it exists today and give them space for forging a desired future.

If Malaysia introduces the WCE system into its educational structure, then the many children now working instead of learning, would be helped. At last count more than 40,000 children were used as child labour. Certainly a high figure for Malaysia’s population of 29 million. Hopefully the introduction of WCE can reduce this figure further.

abc@koreanpress.net


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