It's folio season for SPM and Pendidikan Moral is also one of the subjects with kerja kursus. We're supposed to move towards school assessment and MOE has come up with all these coursework and PEKA (for the pure sciences). For Pendidikan Moral I think the kerja kursus is made up of 8 tugasan, 4 of which must be kerja amal to be substantiated with photos (correct me if I'm wrong). The students have to compile a folio at the end of it. Sounds good so far?
So at this time of the year, students will go on a photo shoot frenzy, ... doing chores at home, community service, etc cos they have to stick those photos as proof that they have done something. Very much like the documentation frenzy that schools go into these days to proof that they've done something. All the beautiful files etc.
Like all the other subjects Pendidikan Moral also integrates other skills - ICT, Critical and Creative Thinking, Social Skills, Future Studies, etc...
Here's my take on how the skills have been learned by the students.
ICT Skills - First it gives its learners a chance to learn photography; and some modelling work, so to say. Give all those model wannabes a chance to hog the camera! Only these subjects hold the brooms, mops... Welcome to the world of pretense. Lights! Action! Shoot! LOL! My own boy is no exception. One night he held up the mop, vacuum cleaner and broom to pose for photos. Bah humbug thingy! Bollywood! Here we come! They not only get marks for 'good works' but also learn the use of digital cameras, printers, computers in enhancing (or digitally 'doctoring') their photos for their assignments... truly an integration of skills as laid down in the syllabus. Not forgetting too how they 'menjana ekonomi' in the process. Photos need to be printed - ink, kedai foto, electricity....
As for social skills, students learn the art of crapping... fine tuned to sing praises about themselves (from here our pool of politicians will come).
Then there is Kemahiran Mengkaji Masa Depan... many of the students feel that Pendidikan Moral is a useless subject... However, due to the importance of as-many-A(s) in our A-crazy society, they study hard.... mahir mengkaji masa depan sendiri. Cos if you want to apply for JPA scholarship, an 'A' in Pendidikan Moral is a must. Kemahiran Mengkaji Masa Depan fully comprehended! LOL!
Creative thinking skills?? There are lots of opportunities to hone it.. you've got to be creative in your assignments and exams to get the grade you desire. A lot of 'crapping' takes place and this requires your creativity to function at its best. Of crap, crapping, crapology, crapologist... Pendidikan Moral encourages it, it even trains you in it. You become an expert crapologist!
And then there are the nilai-nilai murni one must memorize.. the definition as well as give examples to support each of the 'noble' values. It is not surprising to see students cook up glossy tales of good deeds while not practising them themselves... We are in the business of encouraging hypocrisy, I think. I'm not sure but it looks like it.
Then there are also allegations teachers have been told not to fail students. Hence even if a student is found to have copied his assignments lock, stock and barrel... he still gets a B.... for copying, I guess. So much for making them understand that in life there's such a thing as bearing the consequences of your own actions! They have no comprendo where this is concerned! And just think! How reliable do you think our school base assessment is with all these 'kesian' thingy going on?
And finally the content of the subject. Moral values would be better if inculcated through the other subjects... it's supposed to cut across the curriculum. But nah! We deem it better to teach it in its rawest form and hope that our students become better out of it. It's a sheer waste of time, spewing out the definition of 36 nilai. Memorize, memorize and memorize... then hope they stay in the recesses of their brains long enough for them to come out intact; then after they're done - buang! Moral Studies... where are our morals?
We pride ourselves in offering such a ridiculous subject in SPM. Would be better if we offer Philosophy, Drama, Arts or something along that line.... even the long 'dead' Geography would be a better choice than Pendidikan Moral! But the ails of Pendidikan Moral are not exclusive; they plague the other subjects as well.