Malaysian education system should aim to spur innovative thinking, says Masing

Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, July 8: The Malaysian education system must allow students to think ‘outside the box’ and not create ‘robots’ just to pass their examinations, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

“Our education system should enable our students to be innovative, to think ‘outside the box’ and not be like robots who will only remember facts just to pass their examinations.”


“They must have critical thinking so that they can become innovative. The question is: will our teachers accept student queries without categorising them as being naughty or ‘budak nakal’?” Masing questioned here today.

Masing stressed that students should be allowed to pose questions to their teachers and go deeper into subject matters rather than merely memorising facts to prepare for their examinations.

“This is called critical thinking! Can our education system tolerate critical thinking? As it stands, I doubt it very much,”he said.

Masing also lauded the state government for bringing in world renowned futurist and physicist Dr Michio Kaku from the United States of America to present a talk at the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) which is being held for the third time here at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today and tomorrow (July 8-9).

“Dr Kaku’s presentation this morning, amongst others, is on education. It was very interesting. Malaysian education, therefore, must focus on concepts and not on naming things, people or events.

“Questions such as ‘why do the tides appear?’, for instance or ‘Why does the earth revolves around the sun?’ should be asked. We must develop our students’ critical thinking. We must teach them to question things. Don’t simply accept things as they are,” added Masing. — DayakDaily