Educating young Malaysians on palm oil through EDUPALM
Early education is essential to ensure positive impact in a child’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Therefore, it is important that the right foundation is established at a very young age. With this in mind, MPOC started to educate secondary school students on palm oil and its attributes since 2003. The Palm Oil School Education Programme was aimed at creating awareness to the students on the attributes of palm oil and career opportunities in the palm oil industry, targeting upper secondary school students.
The programme was carried out in several phases from 2003 until today. Visits to oil palm plantations were organised in collaboration with the Malaysian Palm Oil Association. Approvals were sought from the Ministry of Education and various State Education Departments to conduct this programme. For the initial phase, schools in Selangor, Perak, Melaka, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Kelantan participated in this programme. Briefings to the students were carried out by the estate managers or relevant estate officers from participating plantation companies, based on the notes and PowerPoint presentation prepared by MPOC. A total of 13,172 students participated in this programme in 2003 and 2004.
The education programme was later expanded to classroom lectures in order to reach out to more students. This time, the programme focussed on secondary schools in Semenanjung Malaysian and the National Service Training Programme (PLKN) camps. This was marked by a launch at Sekolah Seri Puteri in Cyberjaya on 17 January 2006. A booklet and video on palm oil were produced to support the programme. The classroom lectures reached out to 176,616 students and 52,346 PLKN trainees in 2005 and 2006. Plantation visits were also organised upon request by schools, which benefited 948 students.
The School Education Programme moved on to the third phase in 2011 and was carried out until 2012. The programme was renamed and branded as EDUPALM. EDUPALM focussed on classroom lectures in secondary schools in Sabah and Sarawak. Another launch was organised on 12 July 2011 at SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin in Penampang, Sabah. To support this programme, a new booklet, revised from the earlier palm oil educational booklet was produced. A website was also created based on the booklet, to provide easy access on information pertaining to EDUPALM. The name, EDUPALM was also trademarked. During the classroom lectures, students were shown a video on health attributes of palm oil.
MPOC continued to educate the younger generations on the attributes of palm oil, with a new approach. A new version of EDUPALM book was published in collaboration with Oxford Fajar, a very well-known academic publisher in Malaysia and a subsidiary of Oxford University Press, UK. Collaboration with Oxford Fajar Sdn Bhd was established to tap on their expertise in publishing an educational supplementary book that is age appropriate and would appeal to the targeted students. Oxford Fajar was also tasked with distributing the book to 95,671 Form 4 students in schools in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor. At the same time, the EDUPALM website was revamped to match the newly revised book. An online quiz was uploaded on the website to attract visitors.
Cross references were made on the relevant facts in EDUPALM book with the topics covered in the SPM guidebook published by Oxford Fajar. Teachers’ Guide and MPOC Interactive Oil Palm Plantation Tour CD were distributed to teachers, together with the book.
Social media was used to enhance the EDUPALM programme. To take the advantage of the popularity of social media, a Facebook page was established to gain likes and linked to the website to increase visitors.
Collaboration with Oxford Fajar in the EDUPALM programme is continued in 2016. This time, the book will be distributed to schools in Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Pahang together with the teacher’s guide and an Interactive Oil Palm Plantation Tour CD. Social media support will be continued to increase visibility of the website and increase likes on the Facebook.
The programme will be expanded through a popular youth programme on ASTRO, Oh My English, with multi-channel platforms – television, social media, and ground activities. Videos and messages relating to palm oil posted on Oh My English YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will be linked to MPOC social media. MPOC will also join ASTRO ground activities organised at selected schools.
|Link to: http://edupalm.org.my/web/Click here to learn more about: