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REFORMING THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM: THE SMART

SCHOOL INITIATIVE IN MALAYSIA


The article entitles Reforming the Science and Technology Curriculum was written by
Sharifah Maimunah Syed Zin (Director of the Curriculum Development Center, Ministry of
Education Malaysia). The issue that pointed in this article is can the reformed science and
technology curriculum produce potential individual for the future of Malaysia? which will be
discussed in this article review. The main content of this article is the new reformed science
and technology curriculum is essential to produce knowledgeable students. By reviewing this
article, we would have a figure of how the reformed curriculums effectively produce
knowledgeable students. In the philosophy of education, it is stated that:
In consonance with the national education philosophy, science education in Malaysia
nurtures a science and technology culture by focusing on the development of individuals who are
competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient and able to master scientific knowledge and technological
competency.

On the basis of the philosophy, the new reformed science and technology education is aim at
developing the students to become a potential individual in an overall and integrated manner.
In terms of primary science level, the curriculum focused on the mastery of scientific skills
that needed by the students to understand the world around them. The reformed curriculum
also laying the foundation for a more structured science course at the upper primary level and
instill a liking for the subject. The early exposure to science can instill the inquiries to study
science deeper. At primary level, the aim of the science education is to nurture the love of
science among the students in order for them to love the subject.
For secondary science, the reformed curriculum aim to develop, nurture, and reinforced what
has been learned at primary level. Besides, it also emphasis on the acquisition of scientific

knowledge which involve the mastery of scientific and thinking skills. The basic knowledge
that learned at this level is important as a preparation to go deeper into the next level. This is
always being the approach to develop the students ability in learning science from lower to
higher level.
The curriculum mainly centralizes the mastery of scientific skills at all levels. The scientific
skill consists of processes, manipulative and thinking skills while thinking skills comprise of
critical thinking and creative thinking. These skills when combined with reasoning will lead
to higher-order thinking skills such as decision making and problem solving. The higher
experienced teacher is needed to guide the students in acquiring all of these important skills.
Furthermore, attitude and values also implemented in this reformed science and technology
curriculum. All the attitude and values were infused in the teaching approaches. These values
include interest in and curiosity towards ones surrounding, honesty and accuracy in
recording and validating data, flexibility and open mindedness, perseverance, being
systematic and confident, teamwork. Besides, the most important value is the appreciation of
the contribution of science and technology and thankfulness to God. In hoping that all these
values and attitudes infuse within the students, the students were hoped to realize science is
one of the way to understand the universe.
Besides, the technology education also being reformed in the curriculum. The elements in
technology education introduced at the upper primary level consists of living-skill curriculum
which consist of many aspects of manipulative skills. The aim of the technical education is to
develop the potential of the students who have interest in technology oriented programme.
The reformed curriculum in technical education is very effective in providing students with
employable skills and good basic in admission into higher learning institution.

Inside the science and technology curriculum, there are also problems encountered in
teaching of science and technology. These problems are such as examination oriented
teaching. The aim of the education mainly too much emphasizing on public examination. So,
all the teaching and learning are conducted only to pass the examination. Many of the
practical work and experimentation were sacrificed since they do not contribute to the
percentage in overall marks of the exam.
Besides, the teaching of abstract topic also become the problem in teaching and learning.
There are certain topic that are abstract and difficult to learned. Thus an ordinary teacher
sometimes unable to delivered the information effectively.
As a conclusion, as a developing nation, Malaysia strives to have a competitive edge in the
world economy, as well as in global scientific and technological fields. Malaysia places great
importance on education, especially science and technology.