KUALA LUMPUR: Many students have poor knowledge of the country's history despite being able to score "A" in examinations, said historian Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim.
The academic said many not only failed to appreciate but also failed to learn about the country's fascinating history.
"When I asked who was Tun Tan Cheng Lock, they just smiled and did not know the answer. Some of them don't even know the history of their own school. It is sad.
"If you know history, you will be surprised what this country is made of," he said in his presentation at the 2nd Education Nation Conference here yesterday.
Khoo also lamented that today's examination and result-oriented education system had changed the way students were being educated, where many of them studied by memorising and not learning by understanding.
"Those days, it was difficult to even get 70 marks in history, but now they can score 90 plus.
"Many schoolchildren just memorise essays because they can more or less spot the topics that will come out (in the examinations)."
Khoo said teachers should also re-evaluate their role and be effective educators who could work with students to develop their minds, instead of just helping them to score "A" in the examinations.
"I hope our education can help the young to know more about the country, to love the country and be able to do more good for the country," he added.
The two-day conference is organised by Asian World Summit.
It is aimed at gaining insight into how institutions of higher education contribute in achieving the direction of the government in establishing Malaysia as a centre of excellence for higher education by 2020, as well as playing a more proactive role in ensuring the employability of graduates.
About 100 participants from the education sector are attending the conference. Bernama
New Straits Times General 26 June 2013