…strength of mind can be stronger than you think

Has the KBSM Curriculum Gone Wrong?

Posted by nuruliman45 on February 9, 2009


A curriculum involves ‘all the knowledge and skills which are planned and then implemented in an educational institution’ (Choong, 2008), be it in a school or university. Now, how is an effective curriculum? The main characteristic of an effective curriculum is a holistic learner-centered curriculum that puts major emphasis on the process of learning; not only on its end-product. This emphasis is as a key ingredient in producing experienced, motivated, and creative learners.

How is an effective curriculum?

Among the factors that would label a curriculum ‘effective’ is that it addresses the learning needs of all students while maintaining high expectations and performances.  Alongside maintaining these high academic expectations, an effective curriculum encourages all students to elicit their talents and interests and furthermore refine these potential abilities as an asset for the students’ future. Another reason for this factor is as a motivation booster for students to learn.

This is because ‘only when the curriculum is capable of motivating and sustaining pupils’ attention will learning take place’ (Choong, 2008).

It is obvious that students tend to lose their interest in learning unless they discover and understand the connection between real life and what they are learning in school.

Where is KBSM heading for?

Analyzing the KBSM (Integrated Curriculum for Secondary Schools) curriculum in the Malaysian Education system, the curriculum seems to be heading towards the right track. With encouraging principles such as General education for all students; Integration of intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical aspects; Life-long education; Enhancing the use of Bahasa Malaysia; Continuity between primary and secondary education, KBSM is a curriculum striving for producing a holistic curriculum for all students. The KBSM curriculum thus considers the fact that Malaysia is a developing multicultural country because of its strong value of integration it carries.

Nevertheless, KBSM still has its flaws.

A part of KBSM needed for enhancement

It is wonderful that the KBSM curriculum is endeavoring for achieving national integration among the younger generation, and is trying to provide equal education for all. However, it seems as if the equality and uniformity nature is given too much attention to and thus providing mere moderate education; there is almost no room of opportunity provided for students to challenge themselves and advance themselves out of this ‘moderate education’.

Another element that is not given enough stress upon in the KBSM curriculum is providing experiences and applications that demonstrate current and emerging career options and connects to life. This is a part of the process of learning where the learners are supposed to be able to understand why they are learning what they learn so that they have motivation in learning. In addition, this element is vital as students in the secondary school should be able to plan out and select their career options. What is seen today is that students merely memorize their textbooks because the curriculum itself does not emphasize that students experience what they learn. The principle ‘Integration of intellectual, spiritual, emotional, & physical aspects’ should be narrowed down to be more specific to show that emotional, spiritual, and physical (not merely the intellectual aspect) aspects do play large roles in the education system.


As a whole, the KBSM curriculum is fine in its concept of providing equal education for all, especially in a country where its ethnic integration still needs a work on.

However, KBSM needs to be modified as to provide opportunities for students to be creative and able to derive special abilities whether it be in any field – vocational, arts, academic. The experience process in learning needs to be more emphasized in order to produce a more holistically-equipped generation.

The Education Ministry has to seriously evaluate whether or not the products of KBSM has actually met the potential the country needs..!

Then there’s the never ending debate on English in Sci and Math…then, that’s another story…

What do you have to say about KBSM?


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