PUTRAJAYA: The proposed environment education will not be a new subject for students but instead will be modules in the relevant existing subjects.
Stating this, Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pix) clarified that it will not be easy to formulate a whole new subject to be part of the national school curriculum.
Currently, the NRE is working together with the Education Ministry (MoE) to develop learning modules on biodiversity and environment education, which will focus on five main elements.
“At present, we are at the final stage of preparing and completing the modules which contain five elements – forest and wildlife, environmental sustainability, marine biodiversity, climate change, and introduction to biosafety,” he told theSun.
The forest and wildlife module consists of topics on wildlife habitats and their activities.
“This module includes the proposal on animal welfare and protection education.
“It also contains knowledge on forestry, in-situ and ex-situ conservation methods as well as preservation of biodiversity resources,” Wan Junaidi said.
He said the government is concerned with the many incidents which led to the fatality of endangered wild life species and animal abuses.
“We believe by educating students through the introduction of this module in the national curriculum as early as in their primary and secondary years of education, we could inculcate the importance of wildlife conservation and protection in our future generations,” Wan Junaidi said.
The environmental sustainability module is aimed at educating students on various type of pollution, causes and effects to the environment.
The marine biodiversity module will create awareness on the importance and threats to marine ecosystem, its benefits and the impact of human activities on it.
“The climate change module aims to educate students on the phenomena and concept of climate change, concept of global warming and the responsibility of protecting the environment to address the impact of climate change,” he said.
Stressing the importance of basic knowledge on biosafety, Wan Junaidi said as a part of biotechnology, the application of traditional and modern biotechnology will be taught.
“Students are also expected to understand genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and how they are safe to be used, particularly in Malaysia,” he added.
A few intensive workshops involving officers from NRE and MOE as well as teachers have been conducted from February to date.
He said the main objective of these workshops was to identify suitable content to be incorporated at various levels and subjects to increase awareness and better understanding on the importance of conserving biodiversity and protecting the environment.
“Although initially my proposal was to have a subject by itself, MOE has said that it would not be easy to have a subject by itself so it will be included in the existing subjects like in Science for example.
“I was made to understand that it would take at least six months to draw up the blueprint of a new subject and at least eight to 10 years to come up with a whole new subject,” he added.
He said the proposed learning modules on Biodiversity and Environment education are targeted for pre-school, primary and secondary schools.