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Why should our elementary school children study history?
There is no doubt that the primary purpose of schooling is to prepare students to function effectively in the world, and thereby to assist society to function effectively as well. We study the past in school not because students need to know a collection of old facts, but because history helps them understand how the world works and how human beings behave. Knowledge of the past is required for understanding present realities. When people share some common knowledge of history, they can discuss their understandings with one another.
What does history give?Human self-awareness is the very essence of history. Arnold Toynbee said, “History is a search for light on the nature and
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The Malaysian History Colloquium saw the gathering of national historians, and war and police veterans from the colonial period to affirm the country’s history to 500 students from institutions of higher learning, youth groups, NGOs and the youth wings of Barisan Nasional.
The colloquium was also meant to correct the misconception of the Malayan Communist Party being freedom fighters.
“Those who are confused were invited to listen for themselves about the experiences of those who risked their lives to defend the nation from colonisation and communist threats during the Emergency, so that the future generation could enjoy a better life,” said the Colloquium’s Secretariat Committeemember, Profesor Dr Nordin Hussin.
The colloquium was also held in appreciation of the past generation’s suffering and the physical and mental torture they had to undergo due to economic and social oppression from communist ideologies, hesaid.
Prof Nordin, who is head of the Centre for History, Political and Strategy Research of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said the colloquium was divided into two sessions –- “The Challenges to the Struggle for Independence” and “The Importance of History in the Development of aNation.”
Prof Datuk Dr Ramlah Adam, a history expert and lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Mara, said the colloquium was important in explaining to the younger generation the communist threat, which was one of the main struggles the country had to overcome in achieving its

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