WWF-Malaysia Applauds Minister’s Decision to Introduce Environmental Education in 2019 | WWF Malaysia

WWF-Malaysia Applauds Minister’s Decision to Introduce Environmental Education in 2019

Posted on 17 September 2017
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Petaling Jaya: WWF-Malaysia applauds Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar on his plan to make environmental education (EE) as a subject taught from kindergarten to university by 2019 (reported by Malay Mail and Astro Awani, 12 Sept 2017). The minister’s decision is a wise step to inculcate the love and care for the environment from an early age.

From our observation through years of active engagement with the Ministry of Education, EE is already being taught now through subjects such as Civic and Citizenship and Science in primary schools, and through Geography and Science in secondary school.

Apart from that, EE is also being implemented in co-curriculum activities particularly in nature clubs. Guides, manuals and toolkits have been developed to support the application of EE in the teaching and learning processes – but the level of environmental citizenship is still not high among students.

While WWF-Malaysia strongly supports the proposal of making EE as a stand-alone subject, we look forward to the infusion of EE across other subjects while the current practice continues. In fact, in both the proposed stand-alone subject and the infusion approach, EE teaching should be incorporated within teachings through Outside Classroom Learning (Pembelajaran Luar Bilik Darjah) as advocated in the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

In the case of the proposed stand-alone subject, every step has to be taken to avoid testing students’ cognitive performance only, and should integrate testing their ability in translating the knowledge, skills and attitudes into environmental-based problem-solving actions at the individual and community levels.

WWF-Malaysia also recommends that the Ministry of Education introduces a new policy on EE or Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to provide a proper institutional framework to support this move. This policy should encapsulate the allocation of annual budget for trainings and the development of resource materials. Smart partnership with natural resource managers or promoters from the government agencies, private organisations and NGOs (of different backgrounds), Parents Teachers Associations and Residential groups should also be established to ensure that the teaching and learning process are more integrated, holistic and effective.

WWF-Malaysia has been an advocator to educate students and the public on sustainability and environmental conservation for many years. Our environmental education programme dates back to 1977 with the Mobile Education Unit that visited school children throughout Peninsular Malaysia to share the wonders of our natural world with them. 27 years later, approximately 3,800 schools around Malaysia have been exposed to the 1.5-hours programme of conservation talks, quizzes and games.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the education programme in WWF-Malaysia, which has evolved to what is now called Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Developed using the framework recommended by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), ESD promotes behavioural change using economic, social, environmental and cultural dimensions.

Through this programme, WWF-Malaysia wishes to empower students, youths, educators and communities to change the way in which they think and work towards a sustainable future. Therefore, we concur with Datuk Seri Dr Haji Wan Junaidi’s plan as the young generation today will be Malaysia’s future entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, doctors, engineers, teachers, voters, affluent consumers and leaders.

They will determine the type of investments made in our country in the future, the kind of professions are created, kind of goods and services we produce, and what knowledge we will pass onto the next generations. They will represent the chance to diversify the country’s economy towards a more sustainable path, harnessing new technology, new services and new ways of working and communicating with others.

WWF-Malaysia strongly commends and supports the Government’s effort to expose the new generation to the importance of loving, preserving and conserving the environment. We look forward to seeing the plan take flight in 2019, and we are would like to offer support by providing technical expertise and thought leadership in the designing of the curriculum framework and the strategic linking of this to the co-curriculum, the content development, as well as to provide training to students, teachers or staff from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and its agencies.

Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma
Executive Director / CEO, WWF-Malaysia

- Ends -

For more information, please contact:
Farisha Zainol
Senior Communications Officer of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Programme, WWF-Malaysia
Tel: +603-7450 3773
Email: nabidin@wwf.org.my
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