HISTORY has many versions of an event. It is important that the event is known and taken as a guide.
However, the event should not be clouded by opinion. Unfortunately, our school history books are doing just that.
They are no longer messengers of the event; rather, they has become a messenger of opinions.
The Education Ministry must scrutinise the syllabus, textbooks and literature books in schools with an open mind.
The panel responsible for the books must ensure that the books distributed to the students are free from errors and controversies, as outlined in our Rukun Negara.
Every year, we hear complaints about unbalanced views in the schools syllabus, especially in textbooks.
Our history books are filled with Islamic history, and a focus on one race.
In doing so, we have neglected our rich history. All of our states have a rich history.
The multiracial composition and the various ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak can be an interesting subject to learn.
Many people from the peninsula are not aware of East Malaysians.
Learning the history of the states can foster good relations, understanding and, most importantly, respect for our identities.
Perhaps, if facts are taught in schools and topics are discussed in the form of debate or even role playing, teachers can make history an interesting subject.
Let children develop their own opinion on the topics, while teachers be the moderators.
We need to teach our children a history they can be proud to relate to their foreign friends.
Remember, we would like our country to be an education hub. If our children are not aware of the history of this nation, how can they promote it to their friends?
We want to develop higher-order thinking skills.
History may be the way to develop this skill. However, we need to train our teachers to be an unbiased moderator. Schools must be free from political agenda and leanings.
It should be a place for students to be free to develop their thinking skills with supervision and proper guidance.
Sarala Poobalan, Kuala Lumpur The STAR Home News Opinion Letters 18 Mar 2015