SATU PENDEKATAN BARU

Rasanya, untuk kita sama-sama mendapat faedah dan manfaat, terutama dalam usaha kita mencari, menimba, mengumpul dan menyebarkan ilmu, maka sudah semestilah apa yang dibentangkan di dalam blog ini perlu diketahui dan difahami oleh semua. Tambahan pula ilmu pengetahuan bukanlah khusus untuk satu-satu golongan sahaja. Apatah lagi ilmu pengetahuan mestilah kita kongsi bersama, iaitu untuk menentukan supaya tidak wujud satu jurang ilmu.

Maka dengan rasional ini sebagai latarbalakang, kami mengambil keputusan bahawa bahan-bahan yang dikandungkan di dalam blog ini perlulah juga disediakan dalam bahasa Malaysia, iaitu selain dari bahasa Inggeris yang blog ini diwujudkan dahulu. Kami percaya sambutan yang diterima akan lebih meluas, dan sudah semestinyalah sumbangan-sumbangan dari pembaca akan mula kami terima, yang isi atau isu yang dikandungkan di dalamnya dapat kita kongsi bersama.

EPC NETWORK, iaitu nama blog ini, menumpukan perhatian kepada ehwal ilmu pengetahuan, pandangan dan pendapat, dan senario kehidupan di masa yang akan mendatang. Oleh kerana itu, memang diyakini bahawa bahan-bahannya akan menjadi baja yang boleh menhijaukan lagi semangat kita untuk berjuang mendapatkan ilmu yang begitu penting dalam era hari ini.

Kami percaya juga, saudara yang mempunyai pengetahuan dan pengalaman dalam apa juga bidang kehidupan akan dapat membantu kami mengumpulkan ilmu dan pengetahuan yang penting itu.

Kami menunggu sumbangan dari saudara, dan terlebih dahulu kami ucapkan jutaan terima kasih.

LOOKING AT LIFE

A timely contribution from DATUK BRIDGET MENEZES

KNOWLEDGE PAVES THE WAY

Education must aim at developing the multi-faceted personality of the individual in the context of the social setting. Only then, the interests of the individual and society can be served best.

Mahatma Gandhi said: “Education is the process of training and developing knowl­edge, skills, mind and character.”

Socrates said: “Knowledge is power by which things are done.”

Knowledge must be relevant to the situations in life.

Character building should also be one of the aims of education. We should develop courage, strength, and virtues of working towards greater aims. If we succeed in building the char­acter of the individual, society will take care of itself.

The teacher’s ultimate concern is to cultivate, not power of mus­cle, nor fullness of knowledge, nor refine­ment of feeling, but strength of character.   Character building as the aim of educa­tion cannot stand alone. Character is a mental quality. Man is not mind alone. He is body as well as mind. Character includes training and disciplining of the mind and building moral behaviour.

The education system which stresses on academic ability, has not built character. When faced with decision-making, strength is lacking. Countries cannot do well internationally when good character is missing from its citizens.

Grow in all directions and cultivate the whole being. Have the desire to be good, appreciate beauty and concern for others. Whatever we say we should implement it practically, then others hearing it will ood character is the quality that makes one dependabl experience it and be able to imbibe it. Otherwise they will listen by one ear and let it off by the other.

Thought for reflection:

Good character is the quality that makes one dependable whether being watched or not.

WRITING – A MEANS OF PASSING KNOWLEDGE

When I first started to learn how to write,  little did I realize that it is a very effective and powerful way of passing knowledge.   It is also a very good tool of influence.   What we write is actually a translation of what we see and hear,  and what we want others to know and understand.

There are lots of things that we want to share with others …  our ideas,  our experiences, and of course our knowledge.  We can talk to people about it,  but the spoken word sometimes will not bring in the required effect,  because what we hear in most cases will be forgotten in a split second.  But on the other hand,  if we write what we want to tell others,  the chances are that these will be understood and remembered.

I believe this was the main reason why writing was created long ago.  Imagine an important agreement containing numerous terms and conditions to be remembered by the parties involved.  In no time this agreement will fall on non-implementation and non-compliance,  because people forget.

This brings me to the other aspect of writing.   The world today is filled with knowledge … knowledge to help us go through life.  Knowledge important to our very existence.  We can write all these in the normal form … essay writing,  report writing or narrative writing,   but in most cases this form of writing will not catch the attention of our target readers.

So we arrive at the idea of creating a form of writing,  the contents of which will be easily assimilated and understood by our readers.  This is the ‘creative writing’  that everyone is talking about.

A good example is writing for broadcasting.   It is an art which is not necessarily hereditary.  It is not something that is handed down from one generation to the next.  It has to be developed and nurtured through the years.   Experience is the best teacher in this task.   It is through experience one can learn the many aspects and techniques of writing for the broadcast media.   And the best thing is,   to be involved in this art,  does not necessarily require any ‘special’ ability,  nor academic experience  …  for creativity in normally in-born.

I remember a former student of mine.   He was,  and still is,  a rubber tapper by profession.   He taps rubber trees which produce latex,   and this he sells to earn his keeps.   He has no previous experience at writing,   what more for the broadcast media.  He only managed to scrape through his secondary school education.    One of his favourite pastimes is watching television and listening to the radio.    He would be glued to the television or radio set,   each time a drama program is on air.   After a while,  he realized that the stories are of everyday happenings  … stories about society and about life.   He felt he could write these stories himself.   He felt there was nothing to it  …  he only has to try and give it a hard push.    Furthermore he thought,  there is a lot about life that people must know.

His chance came when he heard of a script writing course to be held not far from his village.   He enrolled.   And he went through the week-long course with excitement.   When he completed the course,  to his surprise he  could write drama scripts  …  and write them well.   I was equally amazed myself with his ability  … and the results of his effort.   His first work was sent to the local television station,   and to his amazement  … it went through the script checks enforced by the station.   And today he is one of the regular writers.

That is the story of a rubber tapper turned script writer.   There is nothing to it really.  All one need is a little bit of hard work,  a lot of reading,   and a keen interest about the happenings in the community and the country.   And of course lots and lots of practice.

In a country like Malaysia where the broadcast industry is fast developing,  the chances are there.   The many radio and television stations around,   do need lots of script writers  …  good script writers,   to write about things relevant to the needs of a developing nation … the needs of the people.

I believe this is a good opportunity for those with the ability of translating events and happenings into words,  to take advantage of the situation.   There is an abundance of knowledge to be passed on … and writing,  especially writing for the media,  is the best means of doing this … writing and at the same time sharing knowledge for the good of our future generation.

WHAT IS KNOWLEDGE?

Different people look at ‘knowledge’ from different perspective. What I am trying to do in this post is to try to understand the meaning and interpretation of the word. I believe we will come across lots and lots of explanation of ‘knowledge’.

Let’s first look at the explanation given by Wikipedia the Free Enclopedia.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Personification of knowledge (Greek Επιστημη, Episteme) in Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey. Knowledge is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as:

(i) expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject,

(ii) what is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information or

(iii) awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation. Philosophical debates in general start with Plato’s formulation of knowledge as “justified true belief”.

There is however no single agreed definition of knowledge presently, nor any prospect of one, and there remain numerous competing theories.

Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, learning, communication, association and reasoning. The term knowledge is also used to mean the confident understanding of a subject with the ability to use it for a specific purpose if appropriate. See knowledge management for additional details on that discipline.

I’ll try to get more explanation, interpretation and meaning to ‘knowledge’ from scholars and academicians, both from the past and present.

COME JOIN ME AT ‘HISTORY’

When I was in school, that was some 60 odd years ago, I never liked history. I never even liked the book cover. It was black in colour. A very sordid sort of colour. Not an inviting one. Not even interesting to look at. The history book I used to bring around, and I had to read, was History of the British Empire. I used to wonder why was it so important that I had to read the book. What was it that made the subject so important. After all, the content of the chapters in the book was so boring. There was this chapter about the Black Hole of Culcutta. Another about the Massacre of Amboyana. And another about Sir Francis Drake. It goes on and on and on. When I think about it, there was nothing about this country. Then I began to realise … Malaya at that time was still under British rule. We have not achieved our independence yet. Hence the chapters in the book.

That was about the book. And the teacher teaching the subject was so ‘uninteresting’. He used to dress in white .. white shirt and white trousers. Nothing personal. I liked him a lot. He was my neighbour. I used to see him playing badminton in the compound of his house. And one thing I noticed, he never talked ‘history’. He was young. I thought all history teachers should be old, because they are dealing with ‘old and antique’ subject.

Anyway, that was what I thought history was all about. By the way, I failed in History in my Cambridge School Certificate examination. And I did a naughty thing though … I wrote a small note on the examination answer paper these words …. ‘Sorry teacher, I was not born yet when all these things happened. How could I answer the questions.’ I think that was the main cause of my getting an ‘F’ for the subject.

Today, the situation is different. I see a change in the aura of the subject ‘history’. I believe this is because our country is now an independent nation. As such we have to concentrate more on our own country. We have to know and learn more about the nation. We have to learn about our origin … how we developed ourselves … our society and our country. And of course the role we are playing in the life of Malaysia today, and the roles of those before us who made what Malaysia is today.

History today has become a very interesting subject to learn. I for one have become interested on the subject. I will not mind spending hours in the libraries of the museums, the archives and the public libraries, to go through history books. I begin to realise now, we have to know history, because history will also tell us about the wrongs we did, and how to avoid the wrongs in the present, so that the future will be more sustained and predictable.

If you think about it, there are so much of history around us. In Kelantan for instance, there are places of history wherever we turn our head to. Along the beach in Pantai Sabak, there still exist the remains of pill boxes built before the Japanese overran the country during the second world war. Then in Bukit Marak we can still feel the unseen remains of what used to be the dwelling place of one of the earlier rulers of the State. In Tumpat, in the compounds of the railway station … we can still see the lighthouse used to monitor the beaches in the surrounding area. And in Nilam Puri, in the compound of the Islamic Academy of the University of Malaya is the oldest mosque to be built … some 300 years old. These make history interesting. Because what we learn, we can see.

When we talk about history … and the history being taught in schools, we have to think of a way for the students to be interested. I can see this situation close at hand. My children are beginning to like history. Reason, because the teacher knows how to get them interested. He took pains to create a situation that has made his students an ardent admirer of historical events. He knows what to do. So much so, my children will never want to miss his class or the outings arranged by him.

Well that’s it about history. My only hope is that, let us help make history as part of our life. Let us use history as our guide into the future. And as such, let us make it our responsibility to see that historical places are well looked after, well managed and I believe putting up some sort of information boards will be in order.

History and history books – my perception.