Community programmes key to PJ’s Learning Cities Award win


Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain showing samples of recycled bags made with unused banners during his visit to the city council’s first recycling centre in Taman Jaya. — filepic

PETALING Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) free bus programme, the recycling bag made of bunting by housewives and the city’s library in the park initiatives were among the notable projects that earned the city council the Learning Cities Award 2019 by The Unesco Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL).

Deputy mayor Johary Anuar said MBPJ took a year to compile activities that were carried out for the community which encouraged growth in terms of learning among city folks.

“The Karung Kitar Semula project, which was MBPJ’s initiative in 2017, has helped low-income housewives generate income through sewing.

“The city council provided them the knowledge and equipment, and they sewed bags using the city council’s old bunting and banners.

“MBPJ is the first in the country to provide free bus services for school children. In fact, Kuala Lumpur City Hall followed suit.

“We are now in the midst of building a library in Taman Jaya which will see communities coming together and exchange books and will further foster the reading and learning culture,” he said adding that in the past the city of Surabaya in Indonesia won the same award.

“We took Surabaya as an example and benchmarked our entry and we are glad to have won this prestigious award,” said Johary.

He added that the city council was working closely with non-governmental organisations and universities and colleges and was open to learning new ideas.

“Our staff have in the past received scholarships from Sito University College and Unitar International University located in the city to pursue their education too,” said Johary.

UIL on its website announced the winners of the 2019 Unesco Learning City Award which were Aswan (Egypt), Chengdu (China), Heraklion (Greece), Ibadan (Nigeria), Medellيn (Colombia), Melitopol (Ukraine), Petaling Jaya (Malaysia), Santiago (Mexico), Seodaemun-gu (Republic of Korea), and Sّnderborg (Denmark).

It was mentioned on the UIL website that the Learning City Award Jury felt these cities

showed exemplary progress and commitment to promote education and lifelong learning at the local level.

It was mentioned in the website that despite their very different starting points and the various economic, political, social and environmental contexts, all of the Unesco Learning City Award 2019 winners initiated innovative and target-specific policies and programmes that provide fruitful opportunities for their communities to benefit from lifelong learning.

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