A GROUP of concerned citizens comprising academicians and educationists on June 24 unanimously agreed to set up the Sejahtera Education Advocates or SEA as an independent apolitical citizens’ initiative. They were inspired by the concept of Sejahtera derived from the “Falsafah Pendidikan Kebangsaan (FPK) – the National Education Philosophy as spelt out in the Education Act. And how it can be implemented in a values-based education ecosystem to meet the societal challenges of a world that is increasingly dominated by conflict and diminishing material resources.
The group’s mission is to advocate the practice of Sejahtera values in education to assist the nation and relevant stakeholders nurture citizens based on the FPK guided by the five essential values for human existence, and aligned to Unesco’s Education 2030 Agenda.
The FPK introduces the concept of “kesejahteraan diri” as an outcome of the Malaysian education system, and provides the worldview, context and definitive framework related to Sejahtera. Thus far, this has not been mainstreamed to produce a generation of Malaysians that fully embrace Sejahtera as foundation of values towards a “complete (holistic, integrated) person”. Advocating Sejahtera values into mainstream education will also widen the understanding of the FPK to include the goals of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as per Education 2030 and the five essential values for human existence in the 21st century and beyond.
SEA’s first course of action will be to consolidate all current and futuristic thinking, research findings and instruments related to Sejahtera and examine how the values are practiced in the different education scenarios and settings. It will integrate other elements of Sejahtera Leadership, Sejahtera Productivity, and Sejahtera Sustainability to form a larger platform of informal and non-formal Community of Practitioners based on volunteerism – the very first values of Sejahtera. This is aimed at identifying the gaps and the need for additional initiatives and instruments such as Values in Education Matrix to help educationists and policy as well decision-makers across the formal, informal and non-formal education scenarios to flourish the nurturing of Sejahtera Values.
It is imperative to translate this into reality in classrooms, lecture halls, learning and activity centres whether in normal or religious environments by highlighting what can be successfully implemented incorporating seamlessly the FPK, ESD and Education 2030. Most importantly, to ensure rhetorical statements on Sejahtera values can be translated from paper into action touching the hearts and minds of all Malaysians.
Sejahtera Education Advocates
(For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The Secretariat, Sejahtera Centre for Sustainability and Humanity, International Islamic University Malaysia)