Since the idea was conceived 14 years ago, many schools in the State have gone on to win the Serasi award, setting a benchmark which other schools from elsewhere in the country are now keen to emulate.
"Sabah is ahead of other states…and many schools from other states are coming to Sabah to visit the schools with good benchmarking," said EPD Director Mohd Yusrie Abdullah, at the launching of the Serasi programme at SK Bantayan, in Inanam, near here, Saturday.
More than 76 per cent primary and secondary schools in Sabah have participated in the Serasi programme which involves activities like planting trees, beautifying the landscape and recycling items like car tyres for the environment, he said.
Yusrie said the Serasi programme, which was introduced in 2003, had been well received by both primary and secondary schools throughout the State.
"The schools that took part in this programme had won not only at the State level but at international level.
This is very amazing."
Yusrie recalled that in the first year of the Serasi programme, his department only received few entries from schools across the State.
Besides that, the awareness level on environmental protection and preservation among students, teachers, parents and the community at large has also improved through this programme, he added.
He said the programme took a holistic approach on students, teachers, families, communities, the Government, private sectors and non-governmental organisations to promote an environment-loving young generation at school level.
In giving support to SK Bantayan which for the first time took part in the programme, Yusrie advised the school to visit the nearest schools which have won the Serasi award.
He said among the schools which had received the award were St Francis Convent in Kota Kinabalu, SK Tansau in Putatan and SM St Michael Penampang.
Meanwhile, school headmistress Junaidah Yassin hoped all their plans under the programme would run smoothly.
She said she decided that the school participate in the programme because she wanted to expose students, families and communities of SK Bantayan to environmental protection and preservation. - Cynthia D Baga