LANGKAWI: All schools on Pulau Langkawi should take their students on a field trip to Kilim Karst Geoforest Park to show them the importance of environmental sustainability, says Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek.
She said her ministry provides space for students to learn outside the classroom, including visiting the Geoforest Park, which has complete facilities and is appropriate for them to gain exposure to sustainability issues.
“Today (yesterday), I also agreed to give another path to students via ‘One Student, One Tree’ (an initiative to plant mangrove trees). We encourage more students to come and become ambassadors of this Geopark (Geoforest Park) through the ‘One Student, One Tree’ project.
“I think Langkawi is the best place for our children to become Geopark ambassadors, especially to talk about environmental sustainability,” she told reporters here yesterday.
Earlier, Fadhlina – who is also the president of the Malaysian National Commission for Unesco (MNCU) – launched the “Mangrove-ing Our Land” programme at the Geoforest Park here, themed “Protecting Nature, Better Future,” in conjunction with International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem 2023.
The programme, held for the first time, is a collaboration between MNCU and the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) as the management of Langkawi Unesco Global Geopark (LUGGp), which aims to increase public awareness about the role of mangroves in environmental ecosystem sustainability.
The programme, among others, includes schoolteachers and students planting mangrove seedlings as well as the production of batik based on mangrove trees. The participants also had the opportunity to plant mangrove trees around the Mangrove Sanctuary area in the Geoforest Park.
Fadhlina said Unesco’s commitment, together with the state Education Department, the Geoforest Park and Lada, plays an important role in promoting such a programme, which is seen as very good for raising students’ awareness of the importance of protecting the environmental ecosystem.
“Today we are talking about environmental sustainability, and the collaboration between Unesco and Lada, which focuses on mangrove trees,” she said.
In another development, she said efforts to address the issue of teachers’ workload is an ongoing commitment that has always been one of her ministry’s priorities.
She said appropriate measures to ease teachers’ workload will be looked at from time to time, focusing on short-term and long-term issues.
“Our initial commitment was the seven initial steps with specific steps for which we have the guidelines. However, I want to stress that the issue of teachers’ workload is our continuous commitment.
“Meaning that now that we have announced seven steps, then there will be medium and long-term measures; it is a continuous commitment from time to time... we will see because (it involves) short-term as well as long-term issues,” she said.
In February, the ministry announced seven immediate measures to lessen the workload of teachers which, among others, includes stopping any form of competition, celebration or ceremony in schools that do not have a major impact on student learning. — Bernama