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HOLISTIC EDUCATION AS AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH IN TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION (TVE)

Rohana Bt Hamzah Syakirah Bt Ariff Johor Fakulti Pendidikan, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Abstract The main purpose and contribution of Technical Vocational Education (TVE) in a social system is to provide human resources for employment through its specific curriculum design that produce knowledgeable, skilled and competence worker. However in the name of civilization, modernization and globalization, implementation of systematic TVE in Malaysia was moulded based on TVE system in other developed countries which only focused on material being and neglect spiritual needs. Value of a worker is measured only based on his/her skill resulting in the depletion of an individuals moral and ethical values. In response to the recent movement towards holistic education, this paper proposed holistic approach education method to inculcate universal values, vision and mission of life as a leader among TVE students through curriculum enhancement. It is hoped that the nations achievement as high income and develop country in year 2020 is beautified by high level of moral and happiness of its people. Keywords: Education, Secular, integration, holistic education, philosophy, curriculum

Matlamat dan sumbangan utama pendidikan teknik dan vokasional terhadap sistem sosial adalah untuk membekalkan sumber manusia bagi memenuhi keperluan tenaga kerja melalui rekabentuk kurikulum yang khusus untuk melahirkan pekerja berpengetahuan, mahir dan cekap. Walaubagaimanapun, di atas nama kemajuan, kemodenan dan globalisasi, pelaksanaan sistematik PTV di Malaysia adalah menurut acuan sistem PTV dari negara-negara maju yang hanya memberi tumpuan kepada unsur luaran dan mengabaikan keperluan rohani. Nilai seseorang pekerja diukur hanya berdasarkan kemahiran semata-mata menyebabkan berlakunya kemerosotan nilai moral dan etika individu. Sebagai tindak balas terhadap perubahan ke arah pendidikan holistik akhir-akhir ini, kaedah pendekatan pendidikan holistik dibentang di dalam tulisan ini sebagai satu cadangan untuk menyemai nilai-nilai universal, visi dan misi kehidupan sebagai seorang pemimpin di kalangan pelajar PVT melalui pengayaan kurikulum. Adalah diharapkan sasaran pencapaian negara maju dan berpendapatan tinggi pada tahun 2020 akan diperindah dengan tahap kebahagiaan dan moral rakyatnya yang tinggi. Kata kunci: Pendidikan, sekular, integrasi, pendidikan holistik, falsafah, kurikulum

1.0 Introduction

Colonization of western power has left great impact on Malaysians education system such as secularization in education process. Secularization in education process means separation of religious affairs and worldly affairs. The most dangerous impact of the secular education process is separated thinker as we think the worldly affairs belong to community and it has nothing to do with Gods command. Meanwhile, the relationship between human being and God is a personal affairs nothing to do with community or social relationship (Armahedi Mahzar, 2004). Even though, there have been efforts to transform our education system from secular to the integrated concept, the changes did not bring very much differences as what we can see today. Furthermore, the influence of secular thoughts is still very much honored and applied by politicians, administrator, and even Muslim academicians until today (Wan Mohd Nor, 2005; Sidek Baba ,2009; Mohamed Mokdad, 2006). Since we are practicing the secular education system, we have produced low morale and confused individuals that are prone to do harm to themselves and other people. America for an instance spent at least 450 billion dollar every year on crime control despite the status of its people as one the most educated citizen in the world (Wan Mohd Nor, 2005). America also has advanced in science, technology, economy and socio-politics but suicide rate in the country is skyrocketing with more than 600 percent increase since 1950 (Morris and Maisto, 2001). So what could possibly be wrong here? It seems like the role of knowledge as guidance delivered within the education system has failed miserably, and as much as it affect western region, Muslim country like Malaysia also facing a drastic increase of social problems. Statistics published by Royal Malaysian Police retrieved from the website shows that attempt for murder cases increases at rate of 43 cases in year 2000 to 94 cases in 2005, almost double the number. As for murder/homicide, the number of incidents has been fluctuating between 500 to 600 cases per year, while year 2006 recorded the highest number with 604 cases. Everyday more than one person was actually murdered (1.6 per day). Rape cases are seeing a steady increment from year 2000 with 1210 cases in 2000 to 2435 cases in year 2006, double the cases in 6 years period. More than eight women are raped everyday! (8.7 per day). Similar trend is also seen in group and unarmed robbery. The robbery done by single and unarmed person is seeing a drastic increase; a jump of around 12 000 cases in year 2000 to about 18 000 cases in year 2006. The

statistics of other social problems (drug addict, snatch thieves, baby dumping, samseng jalanan and many more) also mostly shows an increase trend. The malaise of the society can only be solved through education. We need an education system that offers a comprehensive social system containing complete code of life for mans conduct in every field of education activities (Afzalur Rahman, 1995). We seek an education which promotes the balanced growth of man through the training of mans spirit, intellect, the rational self, emotion and bodily senses. We need an education which offers an ultimate goal of direction for any changes in human potentials development at the levels of individual, family, community and humanity at large (Sidek Baba, 2009). Of course we cannot find the answer by referring to western education system as they are clearly secular in practice. We need an education system with the integration of religion values with intellectual development process because we belief that this approach will give a great impact on individual way of life.

However, next question is which religion? According to Gordon Allport in Brink and Carmody (2002), that mature religion leads to personal growth and not discrimination against other groups. Markham (1996) defines religion as a way of life (one which embraces a total world view certain ethical demands, and certain social practices) that refuses to accept the Christianity and secular view that sees human life as nothing more than complex bundles of atoms in an ultimately meaningless universe. Therefore the only choice that we have now is by referring to the religion of Islam. The religion of Islam could offer the answer to all the above questions. In Islam, education seek to promote the balanced growth of man through to training for the changes of human potential (spiritual potential, intellectual potential, the rational self, emotion and physical potential) with the ultimate goal which is the realization of complete submission to Allah (Sidek Baba, 2009). Moreover, according to Sidek Baba (2009) education is the realization of the ultimate power of Allah as the highest value. Therefore, by having the true eternal values only then other values such as the value of justice, patient, sincere and so on could be educate and instill in human development process easily. This will give a great impact on the way of life and also a good solution for social problem that we are facing today. Many people however are still skeptical toward Islamic education. Throughout the century, Muslim people and the societies has been labeled with so many negative conceptions such as uncivilized, lazy and aggressive. Clarification shall be made here that all those accusations are
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groundless and completely contradict with the history Islam itself. Islam came to give light to mankind through the teaching of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) based on the revealed knowledge from Allah. The history of Arab people shows that before Islam came, they live in a state of jahiliyyah or paganism (Sivachandralingam and Ayadurai, 1999) stuck between two great empire; Rom and Persia. Because of Islam they turned into a great power feared by many and later conquered almost 2/3 of the world. It is now time for us to make history by stepping further towards Islamic educational manoeuvre.

2.0 Background of TVE system in Malaysia Actually, the history of vocational education started since the existence of men as part of survival instinct, whereby skills one generation have will be passed down to the next generation. Traditional Malay informally teach their children basic life skills such as cultivating paddy, wood and metal carving, craftsmanship and carpentry. Sudharshan (2003) narrated that, technical and vocational subjects were first formally introduced in school by Rev. R.S.Hutcings when he opened Penang Free School on February 6th 1816 that allows students to learn various essential skills for employability. On 1918, based on Lemon Committee, first Technique school was built in Kuala Lumpur offering subjects such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and civil engineering. This fact has proven to us that formal technical and vocational education and curriculum in Malaysia is inherited from British Education system (Yahya Emat, 2009) After independency, technical and vocational education was further developed by education ministry. However the main purpose of the education is remain the same which is to produce technique expert, skilled or high skilled worker to drive for Malaysian development. The present Technical Vocational and education (TVE) is a product of continuous evolutions based on current situation and future forecasts of job market in industries.

Until today, TVE plays an important role in elevating socio-economic status of Malaysian people. It provides education and training opportunities to prepare students for employment. It also addresses the skills training requirements of people to upgrade or even develop new competencies to enhance employability and improve productivity. Besides the common purposes of TVE, Yahya

Emat (2009) added that TVE is important to avoid mismatch between demand and supply that occurs in job market due to incompetence or non related qualification graduates produced. Furthermore, to achieve developed nation status with high income citizen, skilled worker is in critical need which cannot be produced through academic education but through designated TVE program.

Since its first introduction in Malaysian education system, TVE has undergone countless reformation on its curricula. Nevertheless, reformation trend of TVE in Malaysia focuses only on skill development. Brief introduction of the latest upcoming TVE conference which was held on 19th and 20th of April 2011 states that;

To achieve the target of 33 % workforce in the highly skilled category by 2015 and 50% by 2020, the country is under immense pressure to overcome what is seen as a top investment obstacle; skill issues. It is imperative that efforts to improve this dire which is plaguing our nation are not only implemented effectively, but speedily. There is no doubt that skill is very important in order to ensure human survival or improving quality of live, but skill alone is not enough. In fact it can be useless or even harmful to oneself and the society if he/she is not equipped with the sense of responsibility. One needs to be skilled and righteous worker in order to transform the society into an even better place to live in. The problem is how do we instill righteousness values among TVE students? And whose responsibility that is? The following section will discuss on the possible methods to integrate Islamic values among TVE students which is called the holistic education with strategic integration method.

3.0 Concept of holistic education and Malaysias National Education Philosophy

The concept of holistic education gained its popularity in the 1960s and 1970s when social system in many countries around the world had their facelift. In America, mass movement for social change and popular critiques of industrial society emerged and grew dramatically (Ron Miller, 2005). Whereas many other colonized countries including Malaysia, upon independency shaped and set their own social direction during this period. Movement toward holistic education raised concern for education of young generation that should involve much more than simply moulding them into future workers or citizens.
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As an entity with soul, human being deserves to be treated better than machines. According to Habsah Ismail and Aminuddin Hassan (2009) holistic education theories and beliefs rest on the philosophical assumptions that the soul is an essential component of the individual that is connected to the individuals physical potential (body). However, the soul and body cannot be regarded as separate entity. Even though the soul is more superior to the body, the former cannot be truly exist in this world without the body. The body without the soul will be die or if still alive the development of physical potential (attitude) will be misguided and live in the world meaningless. So they are complementary, though not equal to one another (Rohana Hamzah, 2009) Therefore, to develop inter-connection between the development of the soul and the physical potential, we need an educational approach that able to develop both elements as complementary entities. Furthermore, we also need knowledge with the same characteristic; complementary knowledge, unite well with each other and not separated or isolated knowledge. As further research on literatures were made, the researcher found an alternative definition of holistic approach in education. The holistic education approach is defined as the integration of revealed knowledge (ilmu wahyu-) as a foundation to intellectual knowledge development. This approach will bring our students closer to Allah Al Mighty and this is the real aim of education (Tajul Ariffin Noordin and Nor Aini Dan, 2002; Mohd O.H. Al-Khatib, 2006). Furthermore, Muslim scholars agreed that the highest knowledge is the knowledge of God. It is for the sake of the knowledge of God that all other forms of knowledge are sought. Moreover, knowledge of all things other than God must be conceptually or organically related to the knowledge of God. This idea together with the view that all knowledge comes ultimately from the same source constitutes the idea of the unity of the Oneness of God (Osman Bakar, 2006).

Regarding this, the National Education Philosophy (NEP) cited from the website of Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia which was formulated as a basis for Malaysian holistic educational practice states that:

Education in Malaysia is an ongoing effort towards further developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce individual who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonious based on a firm belief in devotion to God. Such an effort is design to produced Malaysian citizen who are knowledgeable and competent, who possesses high moral standards and who
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are responsible and capable of achieving high level of personal well being as well as being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the society and the nation at large. (Retrieved March13, 2011, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia , http:// www.kpm.gov.my)

The NEP had been formulated in a complete and inclusive manner to serve as a guide, reference, benchmark and provide direction for educational development in Malaysia. As one of subsystem operated in Malaysian education system, TVE plays a major role in upholding the vision of NEP through implementation of holistic education in its system. As far as the current implementation is concern, TVE is considered to be operating in a good way but not holistically. Current TVE is a one-sided imbalance system over emphasising on skill development. Holistic TVE in Malaysian educational context can only be achieved when spiritual potential is given attention as much.

According to Ahmad Sabri Osman (2003), the holistic education process is the effort to develop the entire human potential which includes emotion, intellect, spirituality and physical with the purpose to reach self-actualization of the ultimate goal in their life. We need a holistic approach to produce a holistic or well-rounded human being. Therefore, towards implementation of holistic approach in TVE, major reformation in the curriculum as well as co-curriculum integrating Islamic values should be done.

4.0 Strategic Integration of holistic approach in TVE

The greatest task confronting the ummah in this millennia is to solve problem of education by correcting its faults and overhauling the system. In order to achieve the goal of the balanced and harmonious personality, holistic approach in education has to became the core strategy.

Integration of revealed knowledge and the intellectual knowledge in TVE is important towards achieving holistic approach in TVE as it aims to fulfill spiritual need based on divine guidance that is paramount and total. The integration process should be done in a strategic manner to ensure smoothness of operation. Strategic plan according to Sybouts (1992) consist of multiple continuous process that needs to be driven by the stakeholder.

Strategic planning is fundamentally a discipline that involve stakeholders working collectively to (1) review selected basic considerations or conduct a strategic analysis, (2) clarify mission and goals, (3) select strategies to move toward goal, and (4) operationalize the strategic goals into working plans.

Commitment of stakeholder is very much needed in order to realize effective reformation of TVE. This paper is prepared to proposed possible way of implementing holistic approach education in TVE with the hope of drawing attention from the related stakeholder to take part in the noble mission of elevating the standard of TVE in Malaysia.

4.1 TVE curriculum enhancement

Curriculum generally means a collection of subjects systematically arranged by educators or curriculum developer for the students. Designing curriculum is very tedious work because a lot of things need to be taken into consideration; time constraint, money, resources, social structure, etc. However in an effort to support holistic TVE a more suitable curriculum need to be formulated. Afzalur Rahman (1995) suggests that curriculum and syllabus should be designed on the basis of four things namely; tawheed, risalaat, akhirah and concept of vicegerent to ensure development of balance personality the growth of individual personality with a sense of social responsibility. On the similar account, Rosnani Hashim (2001) commented that exhaustion of Fard ain knowledge leads to the production of ungrateful intellect. Consequently they will go beyond the line destructing themselves and the environment betraying the amanah entrusted by Allah as vicegerent. So, a perfect TVE curriculum must emphasize on both the skill development (Fard Kifayah) as well as Fard ain knowledge with tawheed, risalaat, akhirat and concept of vicegerent as basis. The design of curriculum should aims at character building as a vicegerent (leader) rather than skills development alone.

According to Muhammad alMahdi, (2004) to be Allahs vicegerent or a leader to all His creation means: i. To act in His place; and
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ii. iii.

To carry out His Will, not our own; and To use the power (free-will), He has given us to use not by any power of our own.

Then, to be a leader on the earth is the purpose for the creation of man on the earth and the goal or universal career of every persons life. This mission of life has a very strong relationship with career development as we understand that skill development is one sub-component in education and training process. Therefore, the most important thing is to educate our next generation that they have to play their role not only as a slave to God but also as a vicegerent or leader on earth. They are carrying the Gods trust or the amanah to rule of justice to themselves, to the other human being and society and the physical world according to Gods Will and His pleasure. In other words, it involves the moral law which include Islamic religious laws as well as moral laws which is the practice of living of being, and of doing as khalifah. (The International Institute of Islamic though, 1989 ; Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, 2001). According to Islamic scholars, the responsibilities of Khalifah or a leader are three principles as illustrated in the following figure;

i.

To perfect ourselves according to the Will of Allah, means to exercise justice to oneself;

ii.

To perfect all human society according to the Will of Allah, means to exercise justice to others;

iii.

To perfect the physical world of space and time according to the will of Allah means to exercise justice to the nature.

The exercise of Free-Will

Figure 1: Three responsibilities as Gods khalifah (Muhammad Al-Mahdi, 2004)

Therefore, character bulding as a leader to the students themselves and to all Gods creation should integrate well with skill development objectives (career preparation) in technical and vocational education process. The skill development without education training as a leader will

produce the follower with no sense of purpose in their life. Therefore, these two objectives should be treated as complementary objectives in education process.

5.0 Conclusions

It is always easier said than done when it comes to the real process, and so does the formulation of holistic approach education curriculum in TVE. But the process is easier if it is done based on other succeeded institution such as International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Insaniah University College (INSANIAH) and many more. For an instance, Sidek Baba (2009), a renowned scholar in Malaysia suggested IIUM as model for integrated approach in Malaysian education system. The design of curriculum should aims at character building rather than skills development alone. So based on the developed curriculum at various institutions, a more comprehensive curriculum for TVE can be formulated with some changes (of course) to make it suitable to TVE programme.

Therefore, TVE could plays a pivotal role in the development of the nation and that the full potentials of TVE can be reached through coordinated, regulated and continuous delivery systems that is the holistic approach education system. It is hoped that through the holistic approach education system process the holistic personality will develop in future not only to fulfill the industries need but also the universal needs. This is pertinent in the context of globalization because the kind of challenges confronting the younger generation are not only intellectual, academic, scientific and technological in nature but also ethical and behavioral.

References

Afzalur Rahman (1995). Islam, Ideology and The way of Life. The Muslim Schools Trust London. Armahedi Mahzar (2004). Revolusi Integralisme Islam: Merumus Paradigma Sains dan Teknologi Islami. Bandung, Indonesia: PT Mizan Pustaka Charles G. Morris and Albert A. Maisto (2001). Understanding Psycology. Prentice Hall Habsah Ismail and Aminuddin Hassan (2009). Holistic Education in Malaysia.
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M. Mokhtar Shafii (2003).Masjid Sebagai Pusat Pendidikan dan Penjanaan Ummat Cemerlang. Journal pendidikan Islam Jilid 10 Bil. 3 Jun 2003 / Rabiul Akhir 1424 Mohamed Mokdad (2006). Approaches to Islamization of Knowledge: The Case of Psycology. Research Centre of International Islamic University Malaysia. Mustafa as-Siba'i (1993). The Importance of the Mosque in Islam. R. Sudharshan (2003). Perancangan Kurikulum PTV. Open University Malaysia. Ron Miller (2005). Philosophical Sources of Holistic Education. Published in the Turkish journal Deerler Eitimi Dergisi (Journal of Values Education).Vol. 3, No. 10 Rosnani Hashim (2001). Kurikulum Pendidikan dari Perspektif Islam dalam Konteks Pendidikan di Malaysia. Jilid 9 Bil. 4 November 2001 / Syawal 1422 Shahid Bin Nansok (2011). Competency-Based Industrial Visit to Akedemi Binaan Malaysia. Sidek Baba (2009). The Integrated Approach in Malaysian Education: The International Islamic University Malaysia as a Model . Sivachandralingam Sundra Raja & Ayadurai Letcumanan(1999). Tamdun Dunia (Siri Sejarah Fajar Bakti). Penerbit Fajar Bakti Sdn. Bhd. 91 Sybouts (1992). The Fiftth Discipline. Doubleday, New York. Technical Vocational Education and Training (2011). Eliminating Ambiguity: Moving up the Value Chain through Defined and Concerted Efforts. Asia Excutive Programme Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud (2005). Falsafah dan Amalan Pendidikan Islam Syed m. Naquib AlAttas: Satu Huraian Konsep Asli Aslimisasi. Penerbit Universiti Malaya. T. Sweeney (2005).The Importance of Extracurricular Activities in a Student's Life. European Journal of Social Sciences Volume 9, Number 2 (2009)231 The Holy Quran (1994). English translation by Abdullah Yusof Ali http://www.googobits.com/articles/436-the-importance-of-extracurricular-activities-in-a-studentslife.html http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=410 http://www.kpm.gov.my http://www.rmp.gov.my

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