A MAJOR reset is needed to rope youth into environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) based in Johor.
Safe Johor River founder Poh Pai Yik said youth participation was essential to effectively champion environment-related issues in the state.
He said roadshows should be organised in schools and tertiary institutions to get more youth to sign up as members of these NGOs.
He added that another way was to utilise social media platforms.
Poh hopes the Johor Education Department and Education Ministry will work closely with NGOs for outreach and membership drive programmes at educational institutions.
“Most of the environmental clubs in government schools are inactive as they lack direction.”
Poh said funding was the main issue faced by many environmental NGOs in Malaysia as they depended on donations.
“We hope Johor government can allocate funding to these NGOs to conduct such activities and programmes, ” he said.
Kelab Alami co-founder and principal adviser Dr Serina Rahman said the club’s main focus was environmental education.
“We teach youth to become environment monitors and experts, and this helps them take ownership of their natural habitat.’’ She said they would be the voice for the habitat by speaking about them with others, especially those in their age groups.
She elaborated that the club had taken an experiential learning approach in a fishing village to encourage greater interest in science education.
“Injecting fun is the way to attract children and youth to protect the environment, ” she said, adding that more field trips should be organised for them.
Serina said environmental topics such as low-carbon initiatives and appreciating the ecosystem and natural habitat needed to be incorporated into every subject.
“Every subject should have environmental themes weaved into the syllabus, ’’ she said, adding that participating in relevant programmes and activities should be a requirement.
Serina noted that several international schools had adopted this approach as it was the best way to ensure that understanding, valuing and appreciating nature was inculcated and practised among the young.
“It has to be real activities, ” she said, adding that it was essential to have teachers who were trained and really interested to take the lead in such efforts.