Dr. Chandra Muzaffar calls on the Conference of Malay Rulers to initiate a review on the education system in Malaysia to enhance the importance on moral values with the aim of reducing social problems among students. To do so he suggests looking at the education system of Finland, where the moral values are strong even though the people are not religious-centred.
In Finland he said, teamwork and good values were encouraged and students only sat for one examination before completing their education at age 16.
“The Finland education system is considered the best in the world because the country is free from social ills and the drop-out rate is as low as two per cent.
The chairman also emphasized that Islamic education in Malaysia should enrich the people’s understanding of Islam, and so substance must overrule form. The most qualified body to take on the initiative was the Conference of Malay Rulers as they were the heads of Islam in their respective states, he said.
Malaysia Foundation Board of Trustees chairman, Dr Chandra Muzaffar “We hope that with the review, religious education will be more meaningful and will enhance our understanding of Islam,” he said in a dialogue session held in conjunction with the ‘Strengthening National Pillar: Towards A More Tangible Will’ Convention here today.
In the session, Chandra delivered a paper entitled ‘Education – Continuation to Nation’s Excellence’.
However, since Muslims form the majority of the population in the country, the approach to Islam, which prioritizes substance over form, would have repercussions on people of other faiths.
Besides Finland, Chandra is inspired by the Japanese school system:
“In Japan, the emphasis is on manners and discipline and from kindergarten students are taught the importance of good values, regulations, health, healthy food and hygiene.”