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Expanding the Eco-Schools Programme in the Jewel of Kedah

Langkawi, Kedah, 4 May 2021 - Green Growth Asia Foundation (GGAF) is expanding the Eco-Schools Programme (ESP), the largest global sustainable schools programme to Langkawi, Kedah.

After marking their success in Melaka with multiple schools awarded with the Green Flag, GGAF is bringing the programme to Langkawi. With support from Kedah State Education Department, local and international organisations, the ESP in Langkawi will see ten schools served under the patronage of Yayasan Sime Darby and two schools in collaboration with The Datai Langkawi.

In his welcoming address at the launch event, Dr Mahadi Mohamad, Executive Director of GGAF, said, “By engaging young people in an organised effort to promote environmental sustainability, the positive effects will not only be experienced by the students but also their school and community. The programme gives them the  autonomy to drive their eco-projects addressing various environmental issues.”

Sophia Lim, Executive Director and CEO of WWF-Malaysia, added, “As the National Operator of the programme, we are happy with this progress. An understanding of lifecycle and sustainability should be stressed in our education system across all disciplines. The world’s population has already consumed many of the planet’s resources in unsustainable ways. Therefore, we are committed to empowering young people with the knowledge and skills to lead a sustainable lifestyle.”

“We are happy and proud to co-organise the launch at our venue. We are also very excited to join forces with Green Growth Asia Foundation for our Youth for the Future programmes and collaborate in the Eco-Schools programme in Langkawi in the effort to tackle the sustainability challenges,” said Arnaud Girodon, General Manager, The Datai Langkawi.

After ten years of setting its foot in this country, the programme has been enhanced by GGAF with support from Yayasan Sime Darby to further strengthen Malaysia’s environmental education efforts.

Beginning in 2021, the Eco-Schools Programme will be comprising a set of new modules created under the five key elements; (1) eco-schools workshop, (2)environmental action workshop, (3) pedagogy workshop, (4)international collaboration and (5) rewards and recognition). Additionally, the schools with active involvement in the programme will be basing the programme using the three-year cycle phases; Phase 1: Preparation, Phase 2: Implementation and Phase 3: Report and Award. The elements, phases and modules have been curated by project coordinators, global experts and renowned local and global researchers. Combined, all of these components create a better and improved programme structure for the Eco-Schools programme implementation suited for the Malaysian education system.

In his video message, His Royal Highness, YAM Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar shared his aspiration, “This programme is especially unique because it will connect Malaysian students virtually with their overseas counterparts, for important exposure and experience. It also promotes knowledge exchange among teachers who, through this programme, would become competent in the field of Environmental Education and become change agents among their peers. Through our collaboration with GGAF, we truly hope that the students involved will develop a deep sense of awareness of their responsibility as the ‘guardians’ who are entrusted to protect the environment for future generations to come. Having reviewed the activities set out by GGAF for this programme, we believe that they will make a significant impact on the students’ as well as their teachers’ mindset and behaviour in tackling environmental issues.”

To date, the ESP has been adopted by more than 300 schools in Malaysia. Many schools have been awarded Green Flags to recognise their effort and contribution to sustainability. In this new venture, GGAF is indebted to receive support from Kedah State Education Department. Together they aim to build environmentally literate citizens who understand their relationship with the natural world.

Deputy District Education Officer (Student Development) of Langkawi District Education Office, Tuan Ismail bin Man in his speech, reiterated that “With the compelling presentation by Puan Jamilah on the Eco-Schools programme and its relation to the curriculum integration, I am hopeful that the schools selected in Langkawi for this programme will exert the same kind of passion and achieve great impacts with the students through project-based learning.”

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