PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today expressed hope that the civic education introduced in schools last June will shape a community and individuals who are responsible, caring and considerate of others.
The prime minister said these qualities are very important in community life to ensure that every individual does not do things to worsen the environment around them.
“I believe that not only our children will become civic-minded but also their teachers, as they will assimilate the civic values even as they teach.
“As such, believe me, our country will be developed, clean and highly-regarded by the world community," he said when officially launching the national-level 2019 Civic Education, here, today.
Civic education takes up one hour in the fourth week of every month during the teaching of the Bahasa Melayu, English, Islamic Education, Moral Education and History subjects as well as during school assemblies and co-curricular activities.
Dr Mahathir said it is most important for the people to understand that the success or failure of an individual or a nation depends on the values of life, for example, trust.
"For example, we take what rightly belongs to another because no one sees us doing so for we feel that no one will act against us.
"If we have that kind of attitude and other people also act like that, then our society will become chaotic, disorganised, not peaceful and unstable,” he said.
Dr Mahathir referred to those involved in the search-and-rescue operation to find missing Franco-Irish teenager Nora Anne Quoirin and said theirs were an example of high civic values in society.
“Some people were willing to give up celebrating Aidiladha to look for the missing girl. This shows a high degree of civic value among us. If we have high civic values, the situation in our surroundings will become very good,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said he was confident that civic education would not serve as an added burden on teachers and students.
“So far, there have been no demonstrations such as those against khat (Islamic calligraphy),” he said.
He said the task of inculcating civic values has to be incorporated in the national education system as this responsibility can no longer be left entirely to the parents.
“Nowadays, both parents go to work and do not have the time to teach their children civic, responsibilities, values and so on. As such, we have to transfer this task to the education system,” he said.