07 November 2012 | last updated at 11:24PM
IPOH: A special curriculum should be integrated when teaching History in schools to generate interest in the nation’s heritage.
The Perak Heritage Society believed the move would produce young Malaysians with better knowledge of the nation and inculcate more love for its heritage.
Society president Mohd Taib Mohamed said it was never too late to consider introducing the sub-topic on heritage among school children.
“Heritage lessons can be taught to students in Form Four and Form Five. It need not be examination-based. It is sufficient if the teaching of heritage were done within the local community context,” he said.
Pointing out that there was a growing sense of detachment among Malaysians, he said if this was prolonged, it would affect efforts to preserve and conserve the country’s heritage.
He said more Malaysians were adopting a “who cares” attitude concerning heritage buildings or artefacts under threat from development.
Taib, 59, a former government head librarian, said must be made to undertand that only through their own efforts could the nation’s heritage live on.
“Don’t pass preservation efforts to local councils and state governments.
“Malaysians need to realise that it is their direct involvement and participation that will decide the direction of our heritage.
“The nation’s heritage, whether tangible or intangible, needs to be preserved because it provides historical as well as cultural perspective to nation-building.”
Taib said the heritage sub-topic could be taught by getting students to visit heritage buildings in their own localities or state.
“For example, students living in Ipoh or nearby could be taught about the many heritage building sites.
“They can also visit villages or meet minority groups like the Orang Asli or Sikh to learn about their living heritage.
“If we start them at an age when they can appreciate the importance of heritage, then we would be assured of the continuity of heritage preservation and conservation.”