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Educational Reform and Islamization in Malaysia : Against the Diversification of Values

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Other Title
  • マレーシアにおける教育改革とイスラーム化政策 : 価値多元化への対応をめぐって (<特集>価値多元化社会における教育の目的)
  • マレーシアにおける教育改革とイスラーム化政策--価値多元化への対応をめぐって
  • マレーシア ニ オケル キョウイク カイカク ト イスラームカ セイサク カチ

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Abstract

Malaysia is well known as a typical multiethnic society composed of Bumiputra (Malay and other indigeneous people), Chinese and Indians (Tamil). The Islamization elements in its recent educational reform deserve special attention because Malaysia is said to be moving towards an integrated multiethnic society through the process of Islamization. 'Tauhid', which is at the core of Islam, signifies not only the oneness of God but also the unification of the whole world and living beings. The efforts to seek those universal values which are in accordance with Islam and to internalize them in national education are unique and show some contrast to the strategies adopted in other countries. Focussing on the new Education Act of 1996 and the integrated curricula for primary and secondary schools, the present article analyzes the mode of penetration of Islamic values in national education in Malaysia. The analysis of the stipulations of the Education Act of 1996 with reference to the medium of instruction, moral education and religious instruction gives us some insights concerning the penetration of Islamic values. An Islamic point of view is introduced to non-Muslim students through the Malay language, the major medium of instruction from secondary through higher education. A Malay is defined as a person professing the Islamic religion, speaking habitually the Malay language, and conforming to the Malay customs. The Malay language has imported a lot of Arabic vocabulary. Again, original Malay (-Indian) words have been located in the Malay-Islamic value systems under the Islamization process of Malay society since the 15th century. During the 1980s, moral education for non-Muslim students was introduced. Vernacular languages, which had been taught to non-Muslim students in lieu of the Islamic knowledge for Muslim students, were replaced by moral education. All this means that the subject of Islamic education was released and separated from the ethnic category. The integrated curricula for primary and secondary schools enhance the 16 pure values (virtues). These values are universal in character, but it is worth noting that, of these, two values are written by the Malayanized Arabic words, 'keadilan' (justice) and ‘kesyukuran ’ (thanks), the core of Islamic beliefs. The aim of education is defined as the mixture and amalgamation of modern Western values as well as traditional Malay values under the Islamic unification, which is reflected in the deliberate and subtle mixture of words of Malay, Arabic and English origins. The ultimate target is to make 'Insan', the Islamic human being in Arabic, on the basis of the Western theory of human development. The political leaders of Malaysia believe and envisage that the ethnic and value diversities will be integrated and unified through Islamization and that its education system will be directed toward this ultimate goal.

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