Friday, July 10, 2009

Music Is A Potent Force for A United Malaysia ( Joe Chelliah)

It has been announced by the Education Minister that there will be cutbacks on time allocation for subjects like music in the primary school curriculum to accommodate a corresponding increase of time allocation for English. Such fire fighting and knee-jerk type of responses to combat the growing controversy over the government’s decision on the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) will not offer long term answers for a balanced curriculum for our children. Malaysian music educators will not agree to this move.

Music is just as important as any other subject in the curriculum if the “so much talk” of a balanced approach to education is to be realized. Music, together with the fine arts, is the soul of any nation and represents a very potent medium together with the other fine arts to realize our 1 Malaysia concept for a truly united Malaysia. Any civilization is remembered not so much by how many wars it won nor by its economy but by its fine arts developed.

At the recent launch of the KL Festival at RTM this was abundantly made clear albeit on stage only. Relegating music or any other arts subject to a non-important position is not the right way to improve English. It can only damage and aggravate the existing imbalance in the school curriculum.