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Chapter 4

University partnerships with in-service training institutions in promoting environment education through agricultural training in Malaysia

Dr Sulaiman M. Yassin
Professor and Dean
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
University Putra Malaysia (UPM) Terengganu


Malaysia is one of the fast developing economies of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) with a population of 22 million people. Growing at an average rate of over 8 percent over the past two decades, the process of economic development and structural changes in the country has resulted in progress of the sectoral share structure of the gross domestic product (GDP) and commodity exports. In 1970, agriculture, forestry and fishing accounted for 24 percent of GDP, while manufacturing was less than 14 percent. Since then, the former's share declined to 18.7 percent in 1990 and about 15 percent in 1996, while the latter has increased to achieve about 27 percent of GDP in 1990 and 35 percent in 1996.

In terms of population distribution, the rural sector's percentage share has drastically declined from 71 percent in 1970 to 45 percent in 1996. In spite of a higher birth rate, emigration has occurred as urbanization and industrialization processes attracted more rural labour. The rural sector is comprised of a small-holder agricultural sub-sector and an informal sub-sector. The small-holder agricultural sub-sector includes rubber, palm oil and coconut small holders, rice farmers, fishermen, mixed crop farmers and estate workers. The informal sub-sector comprises the population residing in the rural area involved in various agricultural or semi-industrial urban based employment like mining, manufacturing, construction, transport, utilities, trade and services.

The proportion of the rural population engaged in agriculture is about 70-80 percent. Thus the condition of the agricultural sector is indicative of the rural sector. In short, agriculture's contribution to the GDP has declined from 18.7 percent in 1990 to a projected 13.4 percent by year 2000. By the same token, agriculture's contribution to employment declined from 40 percent in 1970 to 27.8 percent in 1990.

A national agricultural policy (NAP) was promulgated in 1984 which aims at a balanced and sustained rate of growth in the agricultural sector versus other sectors of the economy. The NAP's objective is to maximize income from agriculture through the efficient utilization of resources and maximizing farm income by raising productivity. This served to alleviate rural poverty as well as retain productive labour in agriculture. A revised NAP 1992-2010 was formulated in 1993 with the main objective of maximizing incomes through optimal utilization of resources and with the underlying consideration for sustainability of agricultural development projects.

The success of the NAP (1992-2010) depends very much upon improved extension and support services to accelerate development of the smallholder and informal sub-sectors. Extension and training support is provided by several government ministries, especially the MOA. Within it, the lead agencies include the DOA, Farmers' Organization Authority (FOA), Department of Veterinary Services and integrated area development authorities like the MADA. All these lead agencies have their own training set-ups to provide staff in-service training especially in technical and extension-related areas. These lead agencies are directly responsible for the conservation of the environment in the project areas where they function.

1.1 Environment and agricultural development challenges

Malaysia's overall policy on the environment has always borne the objectives of balancing the goals of socio-economic development and the need to bring the benefit of development to a wider spectrum of the population as against the maintenance of sound environmental conditions.

Malaysia's Vision 2020 further states that in pursuit of economic development, Malaysia will also ensure that invaluable natural resources are not wasted. To yield the needs of national development, the land must remain productive and fertile, the atmosphere clear and clean, the water unpolluted and the forest resources capable of regeneration. The beauty of the land must not be desecrated for economic advancement. In this effort to ensure a healthy concept of the environment, Malaysia's approach is broadly two-pronged in the conservation of its biodiversity and the conservation and protection of her environmental quality.

As a fast growing economy, urban and rural development have disturbed the ecosystemic balance, which in consequence has affected the climatic conditions of several areas in the country. Within the Seventh Malaysia Plan (1996-2000), the government intends to guide environment and resource management by a NEP, which aims at promoting economic, social and cultural progress through environmentally sound and sustainable development.

During the next five years, agricultural development will focus on improving productivity through more efficient use of resources with the private sector expected to take part on a large-scale in the production of food and high-value produce. The private sector is expected to invest RM16.5 billion (equivalent to US$6.6 billion in June 1997, based on RM$2.50 per US$1) in agriculture during the five year period. The bulk of their investment will be in palm oil, horticulture, acquaculture, deep-sea fishing and reafforestation projects.

As stated in the Seventh Malaysia Plan, environmental awareness programmes will be stepped up to instil knowledge and a sense of social responsibility among individuals in society, a critical element in laying the foundation for Malaysia's sustainable development. At the same time provisions under the Environment Quality Act of 1974, will be amended to provide stricter regulation and stiffer penalties covering areas such as increased maximum fines, power to close factories, banning of open burning and mandatory compensation for victims. Legislation will be reviewed to control field application of pesticides. Environment-friendly farming methods such as organic farming and IPM control methods will be promoted.

Nevertheless, the effective implementation of these measures in the agricultural setting will only be realized if the farmers themselves are conscious of the need for environment preservation. Reaching the farmers would necessitate that extension workers be trained in environment education concerns. Strategically, this effort requires the integration of the environment education curriculum into the existing extension worker training systems. This strategy ensures that in the long term training can be sustainable and relevant to the sector.

1.2 The institutional framework and training mandate

The EET project in Malaysia was undertaken by a consortium of agencies consisting of the DOA, the MADA and University Putra Malaysia (UPM), formerly called Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (or Agriculture University of Malaysia). A collaboration of the three agencies is imperative as they are logically affiliated in the world of agricultural human resource education. A cooperative effort involving key personnel of these three agencies constitutes the means for making the consortium function to meet the project's objectives.

As mentioned to earlier, the DOA and MADA are the two most significant agricultural development agencies that have substantial training resources and they frequently conduct training for their extension workers, who in turn work with the farmers as their designated clientele.

UPM has been the university producing agricultural science graduates at both the diploma and degree levels. The forerunner of UPM, the College of Agriculture, trained diploma level graduates from 1930 until 1972, when UPM was formed. Thus, as far as a majority of agricultural manpower is concerned, the root of their training was UPM. Until recently, UPM had been conducting in-service courses in collaboration with government development agencies. Some academic staff had the opportunity to participate in regional and international projects for the development, production and the use of training modules.

The consortium has the relevant constituents for such a training programme. Since environment education is a new area of concern, UPM provides the relevant expertise. DOA and MADA in turn are the lead extension agencies that have the necessary organizational structures and training mandates. DOA has three fully equipped training centres nation-wide and MADA has one in Alor Setar. All these centres are manned by qualified trainers, have live-in facilities and come equipped with the necessary training and communication materials production support.

Within UPM are the Faculty of Agriculture and the Faculty of Science and Environmental Studies. These two faculties offer academic programmes that cover the environment at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The environment experts conduct research and training at the national and regional levels in the field of environment and environment education. Within the Faculty of Human Ecology is a Department of Communication and in the Faculty of Education is the Department of Extension Education. They provide expertise in extension pedagogy and training materials development.


The writer was first contacted by SDRE to organize a regional workshop on "EET through agricultural extension" from 20 to 25 June 1994 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. FAO/SDRE provided technical and funding assistance to UPM in organizing the workshop. Which was attended by all representatives of the Malaysian consortium with a total of 23 participants from ten countries. At this workshop, the important issues in environment education relevant to agricultural extension were identified. An FAO-supported experimental and prototype EETM developed by the AAET of Indonesia was also presented at the workshop and it served as a good working model for the participants.

Participants from a total of eight countries obtained first-hand information about EETM development processes and techniques and at the end of the workshop, presented their tentative proposals to develop an EETM of their own with support from FAO. The participants were further asked, upon their return to their own countries, to submit a more detailed project proposal including work-plan and resource requirements for the EETM development activities. For Malaysia, the participants included those representatives of a proposed consortium for the EETM development activity in Malaysia. Subsequent to the workshop, the author communicated with the other consortium members on the intention to work together in this activity. For UPM, the EETM development activity offers an added avenue to the various ways that the university disseminates knowledge and know-how on environment education since the university has been offering a degree programme in environmental science for over two decades. The activity further offers an opportunity for UPM's expertise in agriculture to be made more practical and integrated into the agricultural extension system of the country. In the case of DOA and MADA, they are the largest agricultural development and extension agencies in the country. They conduct training regularly and it is of interest to them to develop new training materials for extension worker and farmers' training. For all members of the consortium, environmental impact assessment is a very important skill to be learned.

A letter of agreement (LOA) was signed between FAO and the consortium in July 1994 and the first meeting of the consortium was held in August of the same year.

At the first meeting of the consortium, the module development team structure, plan of work and the designation of responsibilities were agreed upon. This writer was designated as the CAC with UPM tasked to draft the text and MADA to develop the case studies.

After gathering relevant data and assessing of the various environmental problems in the field, the consortium agreed that the focus of Malaysia's EETM would be on environmental impact assessment (EIA). The main aim of the training module to be developed was to train extension workers in skills to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the agricultural development areas where they work. An accompanying aim was to train the extension workers in identifying various means and measures to alleviate or prevent the recurrence of the factors impacting upon the environment. The direct beneficiaries of this training would be the agricultural extension workers who in turn would train farmers.

The consortium was staffed by senior and resourceful members, thereby facilitating the whole process of EETM development. Cooperation was easily gained from respective parent consortium agencies with regard to consortium members' participation, planning and implementation of pre-test training and in the conduct of actual beneficiary training. Both the DOA and MADA subsequently slotted the EETM training package into their yearly calendar of training activities.

FAO, through the LOA, provided US$9 000 for the whole activity which was to cover the costs of meetings, travel of consortium members, module editing and formatting, food allowances, travel and honoraria for five master trainers and module reproduction. Over a period of one year, five module-writing workshops and one technical review and content validation meeting were held in UPM, Serdang, and one planning meeting was held in the regional extension training centre (RETC) of the DOA, in Telok Chengai, Kedah.

The DOA first arranged for a TOT held at the RETC in Telok Chengai. Trainers attended the TOT with the module writers of the consortium serving as training facilitators. Both DOA and MADA conducted one training session each in 1996 and the latter proposes to train 250 extension workers and 1 200 farmers in the near future.


With the implementation of the EETM development and utilization activities in Malaysia, several benefits have accrued that relate to the impact of knowledge and skills as a whole, what the consortium members have gained and the immediate results upon staff and trainees involved in the activity.

As far as the EETM development activity is concerned, one professionally developed and internationally assessed training module on environment education has been produced. This serves as an excellent resource for training institutions in Malaysia, especially for DOA and MADA, who are directly involved in the training of extension workers. A core of professionals within the consortium has gained valuable experience and skills in the techniques of systematic training module development which have been contributed to by a core group of regional and international experts who commented upon the various module development stages during several EET international workshops. It is not often realized that training module development does require certain specialized skills of creative writing and designing as the module writer juxtaposes content with the relevant method or learning experience for each piece of knowledge, attitude or practice to be learned and experienced. The EETM is essentially very much learner-centred; this called for the integration of non-threatening cues and initiatives to enable trainee-learners to internalize the learning content.

Over 100 EETM copies have been produced and distributed during training and as resource materials for the training centres of DOA and MADA. The final EETM which is in Malay is now being translated into English to be distributed to a wider audience. The consortium further intends to mount other training sessions for selected trainees using the translated version of the EETM.

With two training sessions concluded by DOA and MADA in 1996, 50 extension workers have now gained the knowledge, attitude and skills in environment impact assessment that are useful in their work directly with the farmers. Indirectly, these extension workers have disseminated this knowledge and skill to more than 500 farmers in their own service areas during 1996.

To consortium members, another direct benefit has been the accumulated experience in the participatory and systematic process of developing a training module. This has been an experiential learning process for the module writers themselves who gained insights into the process as the EETM evolved.

For the DOA and MADA in particular, the EETM is definitely a concrete model and training resource to be used in EET. Such material was not available before this activity in Malaysia. Thus in a small measure, the EETM has become an important contribution to EET for extension workers in Malaysia. DOA and MADA now has a good and tested EETM to be fully utilized, a situation that was quite different before the EETM activity in Malaysia. Subsequently, DOA and MADA have institutionalized the use of the EETM into their regular extension worker training that is ensuring the sustainability of the EETM itself.

The consortium is also encouraged by the positive response of other agricultural development agencies such as the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) and the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA) in trying out the EETM in their own training programmes.


4.1 Participatory process and methods in developing environment training curriculum

Within the consortium, the author assumed the leadership for the EETM development activity and was designated as the CAC. He identified a core group of UPM staff with expertise in training materials development, agriculture and in environmental science disciplines. The other consortium members were from the DOA and MADA who had wide field experience in extension workers' training. An eight-member consortium consisting of a multi-disciplinary team was thus formed and it included the following:

Prof Dr Sulaiman M. Yassin

- Project leader and CAC, extension specialist, UPM

Mr Khairuddin Idris

- Lecturer, training methodology, UPM

Dr Ezhar Tamam

- Lecturer, communication, UPM

Dr Mohd. Nasir Hassan

- Lecturer, environmental studies, UPM

Dr Mohd. Kamil Yusof

- Lecturer, environmental studies, UPM

Prof Dr Mohd Yusof Husain

- Professor, plant protection, UPM

Mr Ho Nai Kin

- Senior agricultural officer and head, training and extension, MADA

Mr Ahmad Saffian Mohd Nor

- Training programme coordinator, RETC, DOA

All the consortium members knew each other well while some of them had worked together on other projects before or attended workshops and seminars together. At least four of the consortium members had worked on other training programmes before.

The consortium conducted several writeshops to gradually develop the EETM. This started in October 1994 and it was finally completed in June 1996. The following diagram captures the whole module development process that was followed.

The consortium followed 12 steps in the EETM development process. These steps were as follows.

4.1.1 Appointment of a CAC

Since UPM organized the first EETM workshop in Kuala Lumpur, through informal consensus, UPM took up the leadership of the activity. UPM is a well-known institution to other agencies and to extension workers. Invariably, the Malaysian extension workers would have received their pre-service training in UPM. The CAC has been involved in the training of trainers of various extension agencies, being a professor in the field of extension education and communication. At the same time he was the Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at UPM. He has had several other experiences in the development of training modules at national, regional and international levels. The CAC had participated in the EETM development activities of AAET in Indonesia and was responsible for the translation of the Indonesian EETM into English.

4.1.2 Selection of strategic and appropriate institution(s)

In Malaysia, since the CAC was a senior staff member of UPM, the university was an appropriate entry-point of the activity in Malaysia. This took into effect with the signing of the LOA between UPM and FAO in late July 1994. However, the involvement of the DOA and MADA was strategic in that they are the most important extension training agencies in the country. Furthermore, DOA and MADA were supportive of the idea of integrating environment education into extension training, primarily because of the close relationship between environment and agriculture.

4.1.3 Establishment of inter-agency committee

This committee was formalized through initial verbal agreements and later through the exchange of letters between the CAC and the Director General of DOA and the Deputy General-Manager of MADA. The committee consisted of two staff from UPM, one from DOA and one from MADA. This was accomplished in September 1994.

4.1.4 Selection of module writers

The module writers selected for the activity were made up of the following experts: two environment specialists, one agriculture specialist, two extension lecturers, two extension training supervisory staff and the CAC, who is an extension and communication specialist. The CAC, the two extension lecturers and the extension training supervisors were familiar with the development of training modules. All members of the module writing team were computer literate and have had wide experiences with extension training at both the national and regional levels. The computer skills were necessary as they help facilitate formatting/layout and the preparation of multi-media support materials of the module.

4.1.5 Identification of immediate and ultimate target beneficiaries

The immediate beneficiaries for the EETM were identified as the trainers within the RERC of the DOA and those of MADA. Once they have been trained, extension workers of these two agencies would then benefit through the regular in-service training sessions and finally the farmers would gain through their interactions with the extension officers within their own farmer groups.

4.1.6 Training needs assessment

Malaysia employed a triangulation method in identifying the training needs that were to be addressed. This method included an examination of environment conservation in relation to extension practice, the views of the experts and available reports and materials. The extension practice was gleaned from the experiences of DOA and MADA and the expert views came from the staff of UPM. Based on this process, the issues of caring for the environment and environment impact assessment skills were adopted as the focus of the Malaysian EETM. Furthermore, the experiences of the three agencies were taken into consideration in identifying the most viable methods of training to be employed.

4.1.7 Conduct of module writers' group meetings/workshops

The module writers conducted five curriculum development workshops in UPM in October, November and December 1994 and in February and June 1995. At these workshops, the module concept, structure, draft module outline and the audio-visual aids to be employed were discussed and agreed upon. Other important purposes of the workshops were to ensure that there was a certain uniformity in the approach to module development and to monitor the progress of the module writing itself as assignments were compared at each of the workshops held. The team then agreed to work in smaller groups to draft each of the three units in the module, starting from objectives formulation, content development, instructional strategy identification and selection of the media and methods to be employed in each activity of each module unit. The CAC served as the coordinator and referral point for all work to be done in the module development itself.

One meeting was held with FAO/SDRE's EET project coordinator to monitor the progress of work and confer on the technical aspects of the module.

4.1.8 Preparation of the draft module

The draft module was prepared and compiled by the UPM members of the module writers' team. The package consisted of a trainer's and a trainee's module in loose sheets kept together in two ring files. Ten copies of this first draft were prepared and made ready in June 1995.

4.1.9 Technical content review and consolidation

The module writing team and five other technical experts from DOA and MADA met for two days in July 1995 to review and consolidate the contents of the module and to finalize the various visual aids and learning materials used in the module instruction. The learning contents were validated in terms of their adequacy, usefulness and clarity. Similarly, the suitability, timing and intended effectiveness of the instructional strategies and teaching aids were examined. Various deficiencies and weaknesses were identified for later modification and subsequent improvement.

The action plan for the module pretest and the content and process validation review meeting with senior experts and extension training directors were mapped out.

The draft module was then revised and 30 copies made for use in the next activity.

4.1.10 Pretest and tryout

The revised EETM was pretested from 24 to 27 July 1995 at the RETC of the DOA at Telok Chengai, Kedah. The tryout aimed at again validating the training methodology, timing of activities and relevance of the contents.

A total of 17 participants who were extension officers from the state extension of DOA, the Integrated Agriculture Development Projects (IADP) of the MOA and MADA, participated in the pretesting activities.

During the pretest, four module writers were the facilitators while staff from DOA and MADA served as pretest coordinators. (During this time, the CAC was on secondment to the University Malaysia Sabah in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and he sent an academic staff member in his place as a process observer.)

4.1.11 Content validation and legitimization meeting with senior experts and extension training directors

A one-day content validation and legitimization meeting was held on 13 January 1996. A panel of senior experts and extension training directors received the module two weeks before the meeting. They constituted representatives from UPM (2), from the DOA (the extension training director and two regional training centre directors), from MADA (2) and one from the DOE. The eight panel members were briefed on the rationale, content and structure of the module by the CAC and the module writers. They were also shown the video on pre-test training. The panel members endorsed the EETM and further reccomended the need for slides on local conditions, addition of a glossary of the important terms, inclusion of realistic data on the environmental parameters and a list of reference materials.

The meeting further suggested that a TOT programme be conducted in October 1996, involving up to 30 extension trainers from DOA, MADA and other development agencies.

4.1.12 Further revision of module

The EETM of Malaysia was presented at a regional EETM workshop in Denpasar, Indonesia, in October 1995. The workshop participants made comments on the module layout, use of icons, addition of more information on the background of the module, in order to prepare a preface to capture the process of module development and to include a brief write-up of the module writers to add further credibility to the module. All these comments and suggestions were incorporated into the Malaysian EETM.

4.2 The training module

By June 1996, a 153-page EETM entitled An EETM for extension workers in Malaysia which consisted of 21 lessons hours was finally produced. The module was divided into three units. Within each unit were the unit's objectives, instructions, trainee activities, learning methods, audio-visual materials and worksheets to facilitate the learning process.

The audiovisual materials in this EETM included transparencies, slides, video recordings, case study data and learner worksheets. The module structure is very systematic and each activity takes up a precise time as shown in Figure 2.

At the beginning of the module, a special introduction was included explaning the module development process and giving a brief background of consortium members.

The following describes in detail the actual module structure and content.

Module title: Training module in environment education for extension workers

Overall module objective: The EETM was developed for two main purposes: for extension workers to be aware of and to enhance their concern for environmental protection in their work and to enable extension workers to be skilled in programming the necessary steps in the conservation and management of the environment in the conduct of agricultural development.

A summary of the contents of the units in the module is as presented below.

4.3 Training implementation

The EETM was first pre-tested with 17 extension workers of DOA, MADA and other development agencies in July 1995. This was conducted for three full days at the RETC, Telok Chengai in Kedah. The module writers functioned as the training instructors. During this pretest, care was taken to validate the content of the EETM, test the relevance of learning methods and audiovisuals used and to accurately time the various activities. As a result of this pretest, the trainees made suggestions to modify the audiovisuals, adjust the timing for the various activities and to simplify some of the instructions.

Subsequent to the revision of the EETM and the conduct of a content validation and legitimization meeting for content and process validation of the EETM, the CAC obtained the endorsements of the training directors of DOA and MADA for the use of the EETM in a TOT to be scheduled for the final quarter of 1996.

A TOT programme was later conducted in October 1996 involving 30 extension workers from DOA, MADA and the MOA. This TOT was again conducted at the RETC, Telok Chengai with the full cost for the training being borne by the DOA. The trainees were FEWs (who would have obtained their training in agriculture or related fields at the diploma level) and the officers (who would have obtained their training also in agriculture or related fields at the degree level).

Unit 3: Case study and plan of action (10 hours)

During the TOT, the second and third units of the EETM were conducted entirely by the trainees themselves, with the guidance of the module writers. This included actual preparation for conducting the module and preparation of teaching materials required. This was conducted so that the trainees could experience the use of the EETM themselves. These experiences actually build the confidence of the trainees in handling the training during the TOT and eventually this would transfer to the actual training that they would conduct later on.


The sustainability and institutionalization of the EETM constitute a measure of the final success of the activity in any country. To many professionals, this is a very important and intricate process that may entail several strategies and interpersonal skills. In Malaysia's case, this has been thought of from the beginning of the activity and the county's experience could serve as an example for others.

At the initiation stage of the activity, the CAC had met with the RETC director and the senior agricultural officer of MADA (who is also the head of MADA's Training and Extension Unit) and obtained their appreciation and support. At the beginning, the consortium obtained a verbal undertaking that the EET would be included in the following year's training programme at the RETC and MADA training centre. In retrospect, this was primarily due to the importance accorded by DOA and MADA to EET itself as both agencies have been involved in other innovative activities

funded or executed by FAO in the past. In effect, the conduct of the pretest in RETC premises further demonstrated the effectiveness of the EETM and convinced DOA and MADA to adopt the EETM.

A second factor in the institutionalization equation was the fact that the senior members of the consortium were well known to the directors of extension and training of both DOA and MADA. This added credibility to the EETM and their support of the activity in Malaysia.

A third factor lay in the strength of the EETM itself as it was more or less testified as to its relevance and quality in the development process by experts from within and outside Malaysia. Thus the product was well tested and usable to support the agencies' training agenda.

Last but not least was the association of the activity with UPM itself, a higher education and research institution of national and international repute. This association further endorsed the credibility of the EETM that would help in the institutionalization of the EETM in other systems beyond DOA and MADA.

As mentioned earlier, the EETM has been translated into English and so is potentially usable by the local NGOs, other government departments and interested training institutions worldwide.


Through the training systems of DOA and MADA, it is expected that more extension workers will be trained in EET. As of 1997, the DOA and MADA both conducted one training session per year. In these cases, both DOA and MADA plan to conduct similar training for the farmers themselves.

It is expected that a total of about 4 300 beneficiaries, including extension workers and farmers will have been trained in the EETM by the year 2 000 (see Table 1). UPM will offer EET as a fee-paying short training course, for staff of agriculture-related NGOs and government departments. There is further potential to use the EETM as distance education course materials, offered through the UPM website.

Other agencies which could use the EETM include the integrated area development projects of the MOA, the Farmers' Organization Authority, the FELDA and the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (FELCRA).

It is obvious that the EETM in Malaysia will need to be better packaged and marketed

vigorously to a wider audience.

Table 1: Training plan using EETM in Malaysia (1997-2000)


In retrospect, the EETM activity has been a very rewarding experience for the consortium, particularly valuable experiences gained and the exchange of ideas with counterparts of similar interest beyond national level. However, it is pertinent to note high points and what could have worked better.

In an activity such as this, the social process of getting and maintaining the commitment of consortium members has been facilitated by the catalytic support (in terms of technical and financial assistance) from FAO. At the same time, the activity was given a boost by the support and belief of the parent consortium institutions that the activity was worthwhile and worthy of the time spent by their officers. Rapport, credibility and the telescoping of agency objectives further helped the successful implementation of the EET activity in Malaysia.

The early commitment of DOA and MADA to use the EETM in their training programmes also boosted the confidence of the consortium.

In terms of doing things better the next time, several points arise.

First, if consortium members possessed module development skills prior to the activity, the time taken for the whole process could have been shortened. Secondly, for such a good final product the EETM could have gone further if there had been adequate funds to package it better and have a more distinct launching ceremony. In the Malaysian context, this would have been necessary. However, this can still be done in the future. Thirdly, a better marketing strategy for the EETM, such as implied above, would serve the activity well in the future.

In spite of the foregoing, for international development agencies, national institutions and practitioners in the fields of extension and environment education, there are several lessons to be learned and these include:


Jaafar, A. B. 1993. Malaysia Country Report, Kuala Lumpur: DOE.

Government of Malaysia. 1996. Seventh Malaysia Plan. Kuala Lumpur: Government Printers.

Sani, S. & Badri, A. (Eds.) 1988. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Yassin, S. M. 1996. "EETM Development, Utilization and Institutionalization in Malaysia", a paper presented at the FAO International Workshop on EETM, Beijing.

Yassin, S. M. et al. 1996. Environment Education Training Module (EETM) for Extension Workers in Malaysia. Universiti Putra Malaysia, FAO, DOA, Malaysia and Muda Agricultural Development Agency.

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