Penang calls for more nature-based programmes in national education curriculum

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (centre) attends the launch of The Habitat-Whytehouse's nature classroom at The Habitat Penang Hil October 29, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (centre) attends the launch of The Habitat-Whytehouse's nature classroom at The Habitat Penang Hil October 29, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 29 — Malaysia needs to implement more nature-based programmes as part of the national education curriculum for kindergartens and schools, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today.

He said studies have shown that a nature-based education offers many unique benefits to a child’s academic, social and behavioural environment.

“We are proud that once again Penang is leading the way in opening the eyes, minds, and hearts of our young in this crucial matter,” he said at the launch of The Habitat-Whytehouse nature classroom at The Habitat Penang Hill today.

He said the partnership between The Habitat and Whytehouse Education Group to hold nature classrooms for preschoolers will contribute towards providing meaningful nature-based education to the younger generation for many years to come.

He said programmes such as this and the state’s recent submission for Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve to be listed under Unesco’s Man and the Biosphere Programme will further strengthen the state’s position as a Centre for Edu-tourism.

“If the submission is successful, the listing will make Penang a truly unique destination with two Unesco sites on the island and within 15 minutes’ distance from each other,” he said.

The nature classroom series is a three-hour long programme for children between the ages of four and six.

The classes are available every Wednesday starting from November 11 and the maximum students for each session are 15 to ensure optimal social distancing measures.

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