UTM’s Department of Landscape Architecture, and selected schools in Johor Bahru have working together to ensure that school’s environment are as nurturing as possible. The greening School Ground Program represents a commitment to contribute positively to well-being of future generations by educating students and teachers about the importance of creating and preserving conducive school ground for learning and teaching.

Recently a group of Landscape Architecture students have completed the task of constructing and installing two timber shelters for Sekolah Menengah (P) Sultan Ibrahim and Sekolah Menengah Teknik in Johor Bahru respectively. Although it is part of learning requirement in construction class, the students on the other hand did a good deed to support the effort of school in fulfilling their needs towards creating conducive learning environment. It helps schools and their communities create outdoor classrooms, providing students with conducive place to learn, communicate and develop a genuine respect for a good and supportive outdoor learning environment. The vision is to help to create green school ground.

The initial study found that students spend between 20% to 25% of their time outdoors. Unshaded surface temperature in school, ground can be 20 degree Celcius hotter than adjacent shaded area provided by a shelter. Building type of shade – “A Wakaf” provides benefits such as cooler air temperature; part of energy conservation; create possible space or place that support various activities amongst school students. “This shelter in our opinion is a good place for students to rest and also to get socialized whenever the students are free.” As commented by Syifa and Moo Jia Yi, the SIGS students.

Prior to construction, the Landscape students are required to conduct a site analysis, develop a conceptual plan as initial phase of site plan, and finally celebrate and measure success with school students and teachers (take pictures, learn, and have fun!!). A site analysis includes survey of user needs (students, teachers, principal, Teacher and Parent Association).

Any schools are invited to participate in a effort to reclaim school grounds and create healthy learning and teaching environment. Those who are interested can contact UTM’s Landscape Department: 07-5530606.