FIVE primary schools in Mersing have been selected to be part of the ‘Pasukan Ekologi dan Alam Sekitar’ (Pedas) programme.
Tengah Island Conservation outreach coordinator Mohd Alzam Mohd Affandy said the programme was expected to start in September and would involve around 100 participants.
“The programme is led by Tengah Island Conservation with the green light from Mersing District Council (MDM).
“We have five modules covering the marine ecosystem in Mersing, pollution, sea turtle awareness, reef health and marine mammals,” he said when contacted.
The programme was first developed in 2019 as part of the organisation’s effort to spread awareness about the marine population in Mersing.
“We run the programme in a few schools at a time, but it was stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
“So this year we want to kick-start the programme,” he said.
The schools involved are SK Pulau Aur, SK Pulau Pemanggil, SK Pulau Sibu, SK Pulau Tinggi and SK Penyabong.
Besides MDM, the programme is also supported by the Johor Fisheries Department, Trash Hero Mersing and Reef Check Malaysia.
Trash Hero Mersing leader Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohd Yusoff said the Pedas initiative was important as it would create future populations who would be aware of the dangers of pollution and help protect Mersing.
“The pupils are involved in activities like collecting rubbish around public beaches in Mersing.
“They are also taught about plastic pollution and how waste is brought in during the monsoon season and generated through tourism activities,” she said.
The programme also teaches the children about the importance of recycling and how waste is managed around Mersing and its islands.
“We also organise beach clean-up activities with government agencies and the private sector as part of their corporate social responsibility programmes,” said Rabiatul.