Archive for the ‘Early Childhood Education’ Category

Fostering best practices in early childhood studies.

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019
(From third left, middle row) SEGi College Subang Jaya deputy principal Calvin Chan, Teo and Early Childhood Care and Education Council president Datuk Dr Chiam Heng Keng with the scholarship recipients in a group photo.

(From third left, middle row) SEGi College Subang Jaya deputy principal Calvin Chan, Teo and Early Childhood Care and Education Council president Datuk Dr Chiam Heng Keng with the scholarship recipients in a group photo.

PARTICIPANTS at the Seventh Annual Early Childhood Education (ECE) Conference 2019 received RM200,000 worth of education sponsorship in the form of scholarships and course vouchers.

The amount made up for eight scholarships for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Years Education, a 3+0 programme conducted by SEGi College Subang Jaya in collaboration with the University of Greenwich in the United Kingdom, as well as 300 ECE course vouchers, which provide additional rebates for the Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Years Education programmes at the college.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching launched the two-day conference themed “International Curriculum Pedagogy and Implementation”.

In her keynote address, Teo said the conference provided an opportunity for professionals from other countries to share experiences and curriculum practices implemented in their respective countries so that local practitioners and students could learn from their successes.

“To ensure the private preschools meet the national quality standard, the government established the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Council in 2001 to increase the level of professionalism in the private ECCE sector.

“Working with the council, the ministry will implement a quality standard and inspection mechanism for ECCE centres, harmonising qualification requirements across the sector,” she said.

Teo said it is crucial to provide existing teachers and principals with greater resources in the form of support and professional development.

“It is also important to make teaching a profession that is vibrant and rewarding, so that it will attract and retain the very best talent that Malaysia has to offer,” she added.

The conference showcased several keynote presentations by an international panel of experts in the field of early childhood.

They were Hayley Peacock, director and owner of Little Barn Owls Nurseries in the UK; , Prof Pan Shih-Tsun, Faculty of Child Care and Education dean at Hungkuang University, Taiwan; Xu De-Cheng, children’s visual art specialist, Taiwan; and Zhu Su Jing, Soong Ching Ling Kindergarten principal, Shanghai, China.

The keynote presentations covered significant areas of interest while addressing challenges and opportunities in early childhood care and education ranging from outdoor learning initiatives to multicultural curriculum for preschoolers.

Selected ECE practitioners and students from various universities and colleges also had the opportunity to present their unique project papers and initiatives that were aimed at enhancing the teaching and learning process at preschools.

They were selected based on the uniqueness of their projects and specific learning processes and outcomes that met the set objectives, which explored current and emerging practices that enhance learning experiences for young children across various spectrums and educational approaches.

The conference served as a significant milestone for SEGi College Subang Jaya, as two of the selected presentations were by their own second year Bachelor of Arts students in in Early Years Education, Crystal Wong, 21 and Loo Sau Fun, 44.

“Early childhood educators must be open to learning and getting acquainted with the latest trends in the field.

“Conferences are perfect avenues for them to learn best practices and explore diverse ways of working effectively with young children and their parents,” said SEGi College Subang Jaya Faculty of Education head Carolyn Choo.

The annual conference, which serves as a platform to share best practices in ECE and engage stakeholders to establish and promote a progressive and innovative culture in education, was attended by some 350 early childhood educators, preschool operators, curriculum specialists, academic leaders, teachers and students.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/06/02/fostering-best-practices-in-early-childhood-studies/#AOkqP3RvZmhgdWRE.99

Early childhood education

Monday, April 15th, 2019

Early childhood education is beneficial for children ages 3, 4 and 5. It’s also often referred to as pre-school, pre-kindergarten, day care, nursery school or early education.

Early childhood education prepares young children for their transition into elementary school. Sending pre-school-age children to one of these early childhood education programs can make a positive impact on her and give her a head start toward a bright future.

Why is Early Childhood Education important?

The capacity of your child’s brain to soak up new learning peaks when your child is 3 years old.

At this point in your child’s life, she has the highest potential for learning new things.

While attending an early childhood education program, your child will improve her language and motor skills, while developing the learning and cognitive skills necessary to move on to primary school.

Attending a quality early childhood education program can benefit your child’s health as well.

Approximately 60 to 70 per cent of pre-school-age children attend an early childhood program or child care programme out of the home.

In addition, your child’s socio-emotional development is less likely to be adversely affected, with a decreased chance of needing behavioural or mental health care once she enters primary school.

Importance of Screenings

One of the many benefits of your child receiving an early childhood education is the opportunity to participate in early childhood screening.

This screening is provided for 3- to 5-year-olds and tests things like health, cognitive development, speech, vision, hearing, coordination, emotional skills and social skills.

Screenings can identify any development or health issues that need to be taken into consideration, to prevent learning delays.

Where can you study Early Childhood Education?

The Diploma in Early Childhood Education (ECE) is offered by the Open University of Malaysia (OUM).

The   programme at OUM  contributes  to the all-rounded development of ECE teachers by updating their knowledge, skills and attitude as ECE professionals.

The programme is tailor-designed for Early Childhood principals, administrators, teachers, care takers, childminders and those involved with young learners to ensure that they have the necessary and enriched knowledge about child development and assessment, curriculum content, children arts and music, learning and pedagogy, health and safety, and ECE-centre management skills.

Entry Requirements

The Normal Entry requirements are:

i. Pass SPM/SPMV/MCE or its equivalent, with minimum a credit in 3 subjects; or

ii. Pass UEC with minimum Grade B in 3 subjects; or

iii. Pass O-Level with minimum Grade C in 3 subjects; or

iv. Pass SKM Level 3 in Early Childhood/ Preschool Care and pass SPM with minimum a credit in 1 subject; or

v. Pass Community College Certificate equivalent to MQF Level 3 in related field and pass SPM with minimum a credit in 1 subject; or

vi. Pass Early Childhood Education Certificate (MQF Level 3) in related field with a minimum CGPA of 2.00; or

vii. Pass STPM or equivalent with a minimum Grade C (GP 2.00) in 1 subject; or

viii. Pass STAM with minimum grade of Maqbul; or

ix. Other qualifications recognized as equivalent by the Malaysian Government.

Note: Matured students above the age of 20 years with working experience can also apply provided they pass the APEL Assessment Test conducted by OUM.

Tuition Fee

The total tuition fee For the Dipolma programme at OUM is RM 12, 780.  The Duration of the course is four years. Financial aid is available to those who are eligible from:

1) PTPTN

2) EPF (Account 2)

3) Education or Personal Loan from commercial banks

4) HRDF (subject to employer’s eligibility)

5) OUM Flexible Payment Scheme.

The OUM Advantage

Those who are interested in pursuing the Diploma programme with OUM have the added advantage to “ Word and Study”.

If you are a school leaver or an adult interested in this programme you can work and take up this course on a part-time basis. For details contact the nearest OUM centre.

by Krishnan
Read more @
http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/interest/85/early-childhood-education/

Permata will now be called Genius

Monday, April 15th, 2019
Education Minister Dr Maszlee said, adding that the decision was made by the Cabinet to make the programme more competitive. NSTP/ROSELA ISMAIL
By Azzman Abdul Jamal - April 15, 2019 @ 5:10pm

NILAI: The National Permata programme (Permata) will now be called Genius as it is set to undergo a rebranding process, according to Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

“Eventhough its role and functions remain the same, several programmes within it will be enhanced in terms of quality,” Dr Maszlee said, adding that the decision was made by the Cabinet to make the programme more competitive.

Dr Maszlee was speaking after attending a programme at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Desa Cempaka, here, today.

Permata, a programme for early childhood education in Malaysia, was the brainchild of Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Following Pakatan Harapan (PH) taking over the federal government from Barisan Nasional (BN), assurance was given that the programme would be retained but an audit would be conducted and improvements would be considered.

By Azzman Abdul Jamal.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/04/479702/permata-will-now-be-called-genius

More than an activity

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

HE was an adventurous and independent toddler who loved spending time in the great outdoors.

That was when Farin Mikhael Farid, who turns four this year, resided in Texas in the United States.

In 2017, his family moved back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for an opportunity in career advancement and that was when his behaviour took a 360 degree turn when he struggled to adjust to life here.

From being a “curious little explorer”, Farin Mikhael became aggressive and clingy.

Participants get to play with sand, mud, water, paint and take part in many fun outdoor activities that will spark their development.

“The relocation took a big toll on him and he began to withdraw himself from society. People raised concern on how he behaved wherever we went. He became timid and anxious up to a point he will scream and throw some serious tantrums when he felt threatened with unfamiliar situations,” said mother Nina Syafina Mohamed Shukor, 28, who was working as an engineer in the US.

Devastated to see the drastic changes in Farin Mikhael, the mother of two resorted to multiple methods – including consulting a therapist, enrolling into different schools – to return her eldest son to his former cheerful and active self.

“He hated therapy and refused to cooperate. Then I introduced him to outdoor messy play. It was a miracle to see how he began to channel his energy through play. It took us about six months with constant commitment to finally see him shine again,” said the engineer-turned-fulltime-mother.

This inspired Nina Syafina to start WhatAMess Kids, a company that organises outdoor programmes for children (10 months to seven years-old) based on creative messy play.

The activities are conducted on a weekly basis. Activities for special needs children are conducted as well.

“All our programmes, which are held in a safe, controlled environment, are designed for play therapy and sensorial development. Children get to play with sand, mud, water, paint and all sorts of activities that will spark their development.

“Playing is crucial for children seven years and below to develop confidence.

Putra Shaffy Firaas (second from left) and mother nur Fairuz bonding through play.

“It also enables them to pick up valuable life skills such as resilience, bravery, curiosity, adaptability and social skills that they can’t get from formal education,” said Nina Syafina, the creative director of WhatAMess.

She added that WhatAMess will soon be opening an outdoor sensory park in Kuala Lumpur.

Parents, she said, gave positive feedback but one in particular stood out.

“There was this sweet little four-year-old boy who wasn’t doing well in school, showed no interest and was unable to focus in whatever he did, until he joined messy play activities.

“We noticed that he became a completely different person – curious, adventurous and would actively participate in the activities,” she shared.

Noting that the concept of learning through play is relatively new in Malaysia, she said it is time for parents to “strategise” on current teaching methods so that a well rounded generation that can strive in school and out of school can be raised.

“Play is never a waste of time and money,” she said, adding that it is important for parents to be “part of the equation” in a child’s development journey.

Nina Syafina (right) believes that play is never a waste of time and is crucial in a child’s development.

“Not all parents have the opportunity to have playtime with their children, thus we create a platform where parents get to spend solid time to play with them under a controlled environment,” she said.

Parents Naleni Selvaraja, 38, and Nur Fairuz Mahusin, 36 – both who have sent their children to take part in WhatAMess’ activities – shared Nina Syafina’s sentiment.

Naleni, who is expecting her second child, enjoyed watching her son, Sajjviin Saravanan, three, “make a mess” during outdoor activities organised by WhatAMess as well as other establishments.

“He knows that it is alright for him to do so at such activities, and he knows the house is not a place to make a mess in,” she said.

Playtime, she added, helped develop Sajjviin’s communication skills besides enabling her to realise he has a knack for transportation vehicles.

“Children imitate only what they see in vision. Parents wouldn’t be able to tell the internal talent of children – each one is special with various talents.

“I think these activities are brilliant as they keep the children occupied as well as allow their creativity to flow,” said the finance analyst.

She encouraged parents to sign their children up for more outdoor activities.

“I find Sajjviin to be happier when he is spending time outdoors,” she said, adding that outdoor activities were also a great “distraction” from electronic gadgets.

“It is hard to prevent children from using gadgets because we are also using them. If we keep him in the house with a gadget, he might not learn as much as when he is exposed to a real thing,” said Naleni.

Enrolling her only child Putra Shaffy Firaas Shah Fezan, 7, into WhatAMess’ activities was also Nur Fairuz’s way of keeping his contact with electronic gadgets to a minimum.

“He needs to know that he can have fun outdoors. Besides, it is also a good bonding time between parents and the child,” said the mother of one.

Nur Fairuz encouraged parents to adopt a more open mindset towards learning through play.

“Such programmes allow children to explore and express creativity freely because the environment at home does not allow mess. It coaxes the children to come out from their comfort zones, break out of their shells to get to know others, besides clinging onto the parents.

This is good for only children like Firaas as he can mix around with his peers,” she said, pointing out that children nowadays often spend their playtime at indoor playgrounds in shopping malls.

She also noted that programmes such as WhatAMess is a “2-in-1” where parents and child get to enjoy.

“This programme is of course for the children to enjoy the fun, it is also a meeting point for the mummies to have a get-together. It is a destresser for mothers, especially those who are juggling packed working schedules,” said Nur Fairuz.

A healing mechanism

On a more serious note, play therapy (see table for more information) is a proven method that allows children to discover how to express themselves through play.

According to one of its pioneers Virginia M. Axline, “play therapy is a vital opportunity for children to ‘play out’ those feelings – hatred, loneliness, anger, fear, failure or even feelings of inadequacy”.

Hils Learning principal Tracy Ho said the common misconception parents have towards play therapy is that they think it is teaching through play.

“What play therapy does for the children is to provide a platform to express themselves and tell their story, it’s not to help them improve their academic results directly,” she pointed out.

There must be a reason why a child is not falling for adults’ tricks to do academic work and are not responding to other interventions, she noted.

“Play therapy is used to address the root cause of the issue, which is more or less an emotional blockage to learning.

“It is also about letting children try new things and taking risks rather than saying I don’t know how to do it so I’ll avoid doing it, or completely shutting down from a particular subject or activity that doesn’t tickle their fancy,” she said.

Ho added that play therapy is especially helpful to children who have experienced some form of trauma, were bullied, or struggle with self confidence because they have learning difficulties or are struggling academically.

“It is much more helpful than thought counselling especially for young children who may not be able to pinpoint the exact emotion they are feeling.

“Through play therapy, they are able to express their story through toys (characters),” said Ho, a qualified and registered play therapist at Play Therapy International, Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy and Play Therapy United Kingdom.

Play therapy is also helpful to those who have language development delays or are on the autism spectrum because they can tell their story without the need for them to talk, she added.

Hils Learning is a centre in Kuala Lumpur that specialises in providing learning support services to children.

It offers services from educational testing, learning support, social thinking, counselling, training programmes, play and filial therapy, among others.

Play therapy also ties in well with social thinking, which Hils Learning also provides.

Zac Mu’tamir, the centre’s expert in developing social awareness in children, noted that social thinking can help a child understand verbal and nonverbal social cues; understand and regulate emotions; foster and maintain peer relationships; work in a group; comprehension; understand a different point of view; and initiate and maintain conversations.

He said he goes by his “bible” – the Zones of Regulation (see table) to help children express themselves better.

“We get a lot of children who come to us not knowing how to express themselves. They will have a meltdown, break something or shut down because they don’t understand how to tell an adult what’s going on.

“We teach them how it feels like and what your body does when you are angry, or other emotions. Does your heartbeat race, do you clench your fist when angry? This way, children can better identify the emotions and body language tied to it, then we move onto helping the child calm down,” said Mu’tamir who was trained under Michelle Garcia Winner in the Social Thinking® Clinical Training Programme 1A in Santa Clara, US.

However, Ho recommends filial therapy as the best way to help a child.

“Filial therapy is a relationship therapy in which the therapist uses the parents as the main agents of change in the lives of the children.

“Filial therapy has the highest efficacy. When parents apply what they’ve learnt from it at home, it permeates into the family system which is very powerful. However, filial therapy requires effort, time and commitment from the parents,” she said.

She explained that in filial therapy, parents receive training from a registered play therapist to conduct special non-directive play sessions with their children.

Initial play sessions are held under the therapist’s direct supervision.

Once parents are competent and confident in conducting play sessions, the therapist supports them in transitioning to unsupervised play sessions at home.

By Lee Chonghui
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/03/03/more-than-an-activity/#ZdEc8s2TTVteqitm.99

Take a holistic approach to bringing up children.

Monday, January 21st, 2019

WE were told on Thursday that the government is “seriously considering” imposing a curfew for those under 18 as a way to curb social problems, particularly drug abuse, among young people.

Malaysia wants to emulate Iceland, which changed the law in 2002 to introduce something similar and has since recorded a decrease in the incidence of teenagers drinking, smoking and taking drugs.

The Nordic country actually relied on several other measures as well in making that positive change – and it is our hope always that the government tackles everything holistically – but because Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail mainly spoke about the possibility of a children’s curfew here, that is what people focus on.

The idea that it may one day be illegal for our children to be outside on their own at certain hours of the night, has definitely grabbed our attention.

We can be sure that everybody has an opinion on the matter because it involves our kids and their freedom of movement.

Naturally, there is both support for and opposition to such a move. We can expect a vigorous debate whenever the proposal is discussed.

But another piece of news that came out last week must be regarded as equally important.

On Wednesday, The Star highlighted that an infographic in a Year Three textbook has elements of victim blaming although it is meant to teach students to protect their modesty – the Bahasa Malaysia phrase translates literally to “protect the modesty of her sexual organs”.

The infographic offers guidance on how girls can protect their modesty. Tip No. 1 is on the choice of clothes, which suggests that how a nine-year-old girl looks can invite sexual assault.

The next part is on what happens if a girl does not protect her modesty. According to the Physical Education and Health Education textbook, she will dishonour her family and she will be ostracised.

The Education Ministry acknow­ledged that the infographic can be seen as blaming the victims of sexual misconduct and said following complaints, it had responded immediately to correct the textbook.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said her ministry would study how to prevent mistakes in textbooks.

This is the kind of thing that makes people go, “What are they teaching kids in school these days?”

It was good that the ministry acted quickly and Teo’s statement provides some comfort.

But have we not heard all this before? Over the years, there have been many cases of people pointing out grammatical and factual errors in books used by schoolchildren. And we have often been assured that the textbooks are selected according to procedure.

In May 2017, when responding to an article in the Educate section of Sunday Star, the ministry’s Textbook Division said all school textbooks used by the ministry undergo a stringent checking process before they are distributed.

The division added that the textbooks were “produced professionally” with facts taken from authentic and credible sources.

The phrase “quality textbooks” comes up frequently in the division’s vision, mission and client charter. And that is the way it should be.

But this latest textbook issue goes beyond carelessness and flawed research. Injecting victim blaming and gender bias into schoolbooks is a form of miseducation. We cannot help but worry that there may be more of such bad judgment tucked away in other textbooks.

When we send our children to school, we hope that they will receive lessons and experiences that will expand their minds and feed their souls. We want them to be enlightened on the value of sensitivity, inclusiveness and respect.

If they instead have in their heads ill-conceived notions – for example, that the victims of sexual misconduct are often at fault – our kids may eventually find themselves unable to face the world with empathy and compassion.

The Star Says.
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/the-star-says/2019/01/21/take-a-holistic-approach-to-bringing-up-children/#PA8dTbZfMa8QdQHI.99

Msia must take corruption seriously to become Asian Tiger once again: PM

Friday, December 7th, 2018
For Malaysia to join the ranks of developed countries and to be the tiger of Asia again, it should take corruption seriously, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said. (Pic courtesy from FAM)

PUTRAJAYA: For Malaysia to join the ranks of developed countries and to be the tiger of Asia again, it should take corruption seriously, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

“I think it is about time for Malaysia to join the list of developed and capable countries and let the world know that we are a strong nation that respects democracy and the rule of law,” he said.

In his speech at the Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award presentation he said it was incumbent upon Malaysians to ensure efforts to improve governance and introduce anti-corruption initiatives intended at bringing an end to corrupt practices and abuse of power.

“We are not proud that at one time that Malaysia was described as a kleptocracy.

“We are today pulling all stops to not only remove the tag but also to remind all in Malaysia that corruption is not something to be tolerated. It should be treated with disgust and anger,” Dr Mahathir said.

Also present was Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani.

The Prime Minister said only by reducing corrupt practices could the government and nation move forward.

“Malaysia and Malaysians can only consider themselves developed when they can resist corruption and put a stop to it.”

Malaysia and Malaysians, he said, had made history in its May 9th election when the coalition that ruled since independence was voted out.

“Without doubt, it was the disgust for corruption that led the majority of Malaysians to stand up and vote out the previous administration,” he said, adding that corruption was an awful thing, one that could bring irreparable damage to society and the nation.

“Therefore, it is not the people who engage in corruption who we should look up to, but instead, we should celebrate the people who are working to fight it every day, which is why we are here today.

“The recipients of this year’s awards have done outstanding work through academic research, creativity, lifetime engagement, and innovation in combating corruption in their respective communities.

” I hope our fellow Malaysians can draw inspiration from your works and that it will lead to increased awareness of the importance of having integrity.”

One of the recipients was Nigerian former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Nuhu Ribadu for the Lifetime/Outstanding Achievement award.

He said such award sent strong message to the corrupt and those fighting corruption.

“When you fight corruption, it fights back,” he said, adding he had lost many of his friends in the fight against corruption.

Nuhu was reported to have “taken” US$15 million that was offered to him. But he used it as evidence to nail the perpetrator.

The award ceremony was organised by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Centre (ROLACC) in Doha Qatar with the support of United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The Award is to promote the importance of tackling corruption around the World and encouraging the importance of the decisive measures stipulated in the United Nations Convention against Corruption by collecting and disseminating creative and distinguished related efforts in fighting corruption and present them with awards in a public event.

By Azura AbasHashini Kavishtri Kannan and Zanariah Abd Mutalib.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/12/438335/msia-must-take-corruption-seriously-become-asian-tiger-once-again-pm

Prizes for cleanliness, health and safety

Sunday, November 4th, 2018
Teo (fifth from left, front row) with the champions from SMK Convent Kedah.

Teo (fifth from left, front row) with the champions from SMK Convent Kedah.

THIRTY to forty percent of Malaysian children aged one to 10 are not getting the right nutrition, with one in five being overweight or obese, an independent survey conducted by Dutch Lady in 2013 found.

With over 19,000 children surveyed, the study further found that a high percentage of children are vitamin D deficient and have low levels of physical activities.

With that in mind, Dutch Lady Malaysia recently held the 3K (cleanliness, health and safety) Awards

and MyDMBS (Drink.Move.Be Strong) to educate and recognise primary and secondary school students’ efforts to improve the quality of their surroundings to boost fitness levels, while emphasising on cleanliness, health and safety.

The programme was temporarily halted in 2009 and relaunched in 2015 with Dutch Lady Malaysia as the ministry’s strategic partner.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said the programme is designed to impact students’ development, schools’ physical environment, academic performances and students’ attendance.

“The 3K Awards is further strengthened with the MyDMBS campaign, an initiative by Dutch Lady Malaysia to prevent the transmission of non-communicable diseases among students, increase their awareness on the benefits of consuming nutrients like milk and encourage students to do physical activities.

“This year, 200 primary and secondary schools participated in the 3K Awards and MyDMBS campaign, with the involvement of 200,000 students and 10,000 teachers,” she said at the award ceremony on Wednesday.

Teo hoped more schools would get involved as the 3K concept is important.

Dutch Lady Malaysia managing director Tarang Gupta said the quality of entries for the programme this year was “impressive”.

“It’s a sign that overall, students’ performances and health awareness have improved,” he added.

SJK (C) Lai Meng, Kuala Lumpur and SMK Convent Kedah were crowned champions of the 3K Awards programme under the primary and secondary school category respectively.

Both schools walked home with a cash prize of RM5,000 each.

By Sandhya Menon
Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2018/11/04/prizes-for-cleanliness-health-and-safety/#o3FwHJAFyd07YisG.99

Childcare centres: Minding their business

Monday, October 29th, 2018
The Welfare Department, too, needs to play a proactive role. It must work with other government authorities to think through strategies to increase childcare centres to the national requirement of at least 38,000. (NSTP Archive)

THERE is irony in their name. Many childcare centres, it appears, don’t really “care” about the children sent there. Unscrupulous operators of such centres see opportunities in parents’ desperate search for minders.

And home-based babysitters, too, are joining the rush for the ringgit by taking in more children than they can mind.

The end result is often tragic: deaths or injuries that change the lives of the children forever. And the lives of parents too. Like in many other things, issues related to childcare cannot and must not be solved on a piecemeal basis as we are prone to do.

Approaching the childcare issue from the national perspective is the best way forward. Picture this. Malaysia has 2.3 million children aged 4 and below, which means there is a need for 38,333 childcare centres.

But the Welfare Department statistics tell us a dismal story: there are only 4,302 registered childcare centres throughout the country. Perhaps it is time to get companies with a certain manpower strength to set up childcare centres. Companies with a good bottom line may want to consider subsidies as part of their remuneration package.

If the government can do this, most certainly companies can. There is a role here for the community too.

Residents in housing areas can through the residents’ association set up childcare centres to cater to their needs. Most often, national problems are best handled locally. Better still, housing developers should be required by law to build childcare centres, the number being dependent on the size of the housing estate. A law on minimum standards for housing and amenities will help.

The Welfare Department, too, needs to play a proactive role. It must work with other government authorities to think through strategies to increase childcare centres to the national requirement of at least 38,000. This may appear as a task beyond the Welfare Department’s remit. Not so. Minding the business of the nation’s children is after all part of the business chain of welfare services. The department must also seek to understand why childcare centres and home-based babysitters are not registering. A few of the unregistered centres do face genuine problems, such as meeting the minimum legal wage of RM1,050 with the RM300 fees per child paid by parents. Such centres cut corners by hiring untrained childminders for much less, thus breaking the law in the process.

By NST.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/leaders/2018/10/426113/childcare-centres-minding-their-business

‘Easier for stateless kids to enrol in school soon’

Saturday, October 13th, 2018
(File pix) Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching greeting students at SMJK Kuching High yesterday. Bernama Photo
By Bernama - October 13, 2018 @ 8:45am

KUCHING: The Education Ministry will simplify the registration process for pupils without citizenship for admission to government schools, said Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.

She said the ministry had decided that children without citizenship needed only produce their birth certificates, adoption papers or court order to enrol in government schools.

“If they do not have these documents, they can get verification from the community leaders or their people’s representatives,” she said after officiating a ceremony for the Gate of Alumni at SMJK Kuching High here yesterday.

She said in the case of children without citizenship, but with one parent who was a Malaysian citizen and had a birth certificate, would be allowed to enrol in government schools.

The new conditions would be implemented in January and the students would be allowed to sit for public examinations like Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah, Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia, said Teo.

“The move is because the government wants to provide formal education to all children,” she said.

She added that parents had up to two years to provide necessary documents.

Teo said the main reason children did not have citizenship was because their parents did not register their marriages before the children were born.

By Bernama .

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/10/420794/easier-stateless-kids-enrol-school-soon

Careers in early childhood education

Friday, October 5th, 2018
Aspiring ECCE educators from SEGi posing for a group photograph.

Aspiring ECCE educators from SEGi posing for a group photograph.

IN LINE with rising demands for improvements in early childcare services, the Ministry of Education has made it a mission to ensure that all Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) educators have the minimum qualification of Diploma in Early Childhood by 2020.

SEGi College Penang has embarked on a journey to produce more qualified ECCE educators with its internationally recognised Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE)

Entry requirement is SPM/STPM/UEC. The programme with its flexible learning hours is suitable for in-service teachers and can be completed within two-and-a-half years.

Graduates can then opt to further their studies with the three-year honours degree programme in Early Years Education (BA EYE) in collaboration with University of Greenwich, UK.

Degree students will have the opportunity to undergo teaching practicum (Workplace Experience) in both Taska and Tadika.

Financial support is available through EPF, PTPTN, Affin flexi-payment and rebates

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/10/05/careers-in-early-childhood-education/#wY0vCyKOHerKSgJ6.99