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In Memory Of ‘Kemahiran Hidup’ The Most Underrated School Subject

In Memory Of ‘Kemahiran Hidup’ The Most Underrated School Subject

“Kemahiran Hidup” literally translates to “Life Skills”. Actually it’s “Skills Life” but you get it.

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Netizens recently took to social media to share their treasures from the past and fondly remember the Kemahiran Hidup Bersepadu (KHB) subject that they learned back in school.

Literally translating to mean ‘life skills’, Kemahiran Hidup or ‘KH’ for short, was once taught as a core subject to year one, two, and three students in both the primary and secondary school levels.

The subject focuses on teaching kids the basics of practical skills like balancing a chequebook, solder a circuit, sewing on buttons, gardening, cooking, and others.

Legends were made

However, one KH project seems to nail in a certain sentimental value to most Malaysians and is kept by many as a soulful reminder of the good ol’ days.

Back when the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) exams were still a thing, secondary Form 3 students took part in a carpentry project which made up 40% of their grades.


Using pieces of wooden planks, boards and such, students were required to use all the skills they learned in KH class to create a single useful household item.

These items would usually take the form of simple stuff, like key holders, a stationary box or a place to stash your snail mail (yup that was a thing), documents and other items. But there were always those few talented kids who managed to come up with the most brilliant and intricate designs for their projects.

Taking a walk down memory lane, netizens proudly showed off their self-made memorabilia which they had kept all these years.

Random conversations online also see Malaysians mentioning how KH had been an underrated subject – with many realising how important it was when it comes to adulting today.

(Credit: Twitter)

Generational gap

In 2017, a syllabus change replaced the KH subject with what students are learning in school today, the Reka Bentuk dan Teknologi (RBT) or design and technology subject, which can be considered a modern update to KH classes.

In RBT class, kids are taught to develop technical design and applicational skills using modern tools as well as learning about agriculture and family studies.

However, RBT class still teaches kids how to build and be creative with their hands.

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