Students at all levels of education in Malaysia, from kindergartens to universities, are set to learn about how to protect the environment by 2019.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Jaafar said they are in discussion with the Education Ministry on the teaching of environmental issues as a subject in schools and hope to present a draft to Cabinet by the middle of next year, according to local newspaper The Star.
“As a school subject, we can instill in children the importance of protecting the environment at an early age. It will be a great step forward,” Wan Junaidi said at a press conference after the “Asean Dialogue” session at the Pangkor Dialogue 2017 yesterday.
He said the new subject will help the country address environmental issues, such as pollution and sustainability. He had previously said that “public awareness” on environmental preservation is “very low”, according to Clean Malaysia.
The Malay Mail Online notes a survey by Merdeka Center released in March which showed over 80 percent of Malaysians are concerned about climate change amid increasing temperature and weather fluctuations in recent years.
While environmental issues exist as components in various subjects such as science and the humanities taught in Malaysian schools now, a study by the National University of Malaysia (UKM) which was published in the Life Science Journal in 2012, found environmental education would be more effectively taught as an independent subject on its own.
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