kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,

Institutions can transform society

In every society, there are institutions that, when established, become strategic institutions than can transform society, for better or for worse.

Among these institutions are universities, like Universiti Malaya, government agencies, like the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu), and non-governmental organisations like Mercy Malaysia and the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia.

Another such institution is the Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM), a legacy of former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Established in 2004, IIM celebrated its 11th anniversary on National Integrity Day on Nov 5. Institutions that transform societies have clarity of purpose, philosophy, principles, core values, mission and vision.

Many top multinational and national companies have identified integrity as a governing core value. Integrity is not a stand-alone virtue but it is the core of a network of interrelated positive values.

The school system has a set of 16 core virtues, and subjects like Islamic Studies and Moral Education encompass more than 47 other related positive values. All schoolchildren are exposed to positive values.

Yet, there is the critical need to establish such institutions as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and IIM.

As with consumerism, entrepreneurship, history, parenting education, there are those who seek that each of these areas be included as subjects in the school curriculum.

In education, there is a debate on the overcrowded curriculum. Any new subject must have core and substantive subject matter considered as a mature knowledge discipline.

The trend is not to introduce new subjects but to review contents and values of new subjects to be introduced and integrate the new topics and subtopics harmoniously with existing subjects. In mature educational systems, authorities are not allowed to tinker and arbitrarily introduce new subjects in the crowded school and university curriculum.

However, there are immense possibilities to include new contents and values across the formal curriculum and the non-formal curriculum.

To do this, those involved in curriculum development must be knowledge leaders in multidisciplinary modes and have expertise in broad-based curriculum development as differentiated from just a discipline-based expertise.

Authorities have identified the virtue of integrity as not just about being against corruption but which is more comprehensive.

As yet, thought leaders and curriculum designers have not embarked on such deeper level interventions.

To do so, leaders have to simultaneously examine values and virtues promoted in the formal and non-formal curriculum and those promoted by IIM.

The integrity curriculum has the potential not just to be the curriculum across educational institutions, non-formal education and the mass media, but an integrity curriculum for individuals, families and communities, life long and life wide.

Like language, management, entrepreneurship, history across the curriculum, there can be integrity across the curriculum.

In Islam, there is the distinction between Fard Ain and Fardhu Kifaya. Fardhu Kifaya is that society is expected to have some of its citizens, not all, to be doctors, engineers, lawyers, and business people.

Fardu Ain is that every Muslim must learn to pray and perform the commandments of the religion as everyman’s responsibility. Integrity is Fardhu Ain, every person’s business, as Quality is everybody’s business.

The overarching goal in business is profit as the bottom line. In society, it should be integrity as the overarching foundation for decision making in all sectors and domains.

Integrity is a virtue across the generations as received wisdom. Integrity is a civilisational virtue across time and culture.

A society can be all things it wants to be: an achieving society, a creative society, a religious society, a military like society, or a nation of shopkeepers.

It can also be a society of individuals, systems, laws, processes, procedures and rules, founded on the principle of integrity.

With the agenda of integrity, a society can formulate the aspiration to be best of societies and be on moral high ground to defend, preserve, promote, human rights, a caring, clean society, championing justice in all manner of dealings, with respect for all.

A decade ago, Malaysia declared that it is an excellent, outstanding society, eminently glorious for the virtues that it upholds.

The dream exists among those who championed the course and cause of its history. Many young people have inherited and accepted the dream.

During the last decade, IIM has amassed a large corpus of cases and contents regarding the Integrity agenda.

IIM has now the challenge to manage the knowledge it has generated and utilise them to build a society with noble mind-sets, founded on the virtue of sacred integrity.
Datuk Dr Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid The NST Columnist Friday, 13 November 2015 11:01 AM
Tags: curriculum, integriti

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