ENVIRONMENTAL problems are hogging the limelight these days with issues ranging from the deteriorating health of our rivers to a general lack of awareness on nature conservation.
Many feel that emphasising the importance of the environment should start early in life – in primary schools to be specific. Here we go again, expecting schools to shoulder yet another responsibility.
Though it is generally agreed that schools play a vital role in instilling values in children, depending on them for solutions to every problem we face is unreasonable.
We do remember the countless programmes introduced in schools only to be shelved later, don’t we?
No amount of programmes in schools is going to be successful if children are going to be constantly exposed to an environment where the rules are neither respected nor followed. This is a bitter truth indeed.
Recycling was one such programme, which was started with much fanfare, but sadly its appeal diminished with time in many schools. The number of mineral water bottles strewn around school compounds now is clear evidence of our failure in making recycling a way of life.
Such campaigns often hit the wall due to the “disengagement” students encounter outside the four walls of their school.
Awareness should be created among the public with adults being the ultimate target group. When practising the values become the order of the day and children are fed with visuals of civility and discipline, we can probably expect the change that’s desperately needed.
A definite set of rules to be followed equally by all should be introduced and enforced.
Unfortunately, the relevant authorities seem to have difficulties in enforcing rules for some unknown reasons.
Rules are constantly implemented but enforcement is rarely practised, thus the show of disrespect towards them.
The soft and diplomatic approaches implemented so far have obviously failed.
The environmental issues are blowing up year after year without much improvement in terms of awareness. Stern actions are therefore needed.
A heavy penalty (with a handsome amount of money) would do the trick. When the pinch is felt, changes can be expected.
Nature needs to be nurtured, not destroyed. Ignorance of the importance of rivers appears to be the root cause of the current predicament.
Let’s work together to create the much needed awareness. Let’s save our ailing rivers before it is too late.
Tampin, Negri Sembilan
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