Public University Students Will Now Have To Take 2 New Compulsory Subjects

The 'Philosophy and Current Issues' and 'Appreciation for Ethics and Civilisation' courses were rolled out in the current semester.

Two new compulsory courses for the 2019/2020 school year have been introduced to all public universities

According to Sin Chew Daily, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik posted on Twitter yesterday, 25 September, that public university students will have to take 'Philosophy and Current Issues' and 'Appreciation for Ethics and Civilisation' as compulsory subjects.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

Image via New Straits Times

Students can take these two courses at any time during their studies

He said that the two new courses are in line with the national education system's direction, that is, a value-centred education. 

In a Facebook post, he elaborated that the strength of a country lies in the minds of its people

"We already have Civics education in schools which was launched by [Prime Minister] Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad a few months ago," he wrote in the post, "But it can't stop there, personal development should continue to the level of higher education."

"Many people consider philosophy to be daunting and exhausting. But the fact is, philosophy is the science of thinking," he explained, "It is through philosophy that we analyse, seek the truth, and then plan solutions."

At the end of his post, he wrote "We want to keep our university graduates high-minded, proud of their personalities, and always trying to solve society's problems."

Netizens generally praised the Education Minister for the effort, though some questioned the implementation and necessity of more compulsory courses

A Facebook user pointed out that there is a lack of teaching staff who are trained in philosophy.

"[M]any universities in Malaysia do not offer this course. This would result in the poor teaching of the subject," the user said, and urged public universities to introduce new degrees in philosophy as a solution.

Meanwhile, one Twitter user wondered why the other compulsory subject, Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies (TITAS), was abolished.

Whereas another user questioned why the General Studies course in private universities has not been removed.

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