Training essential to meet shortage of qualified child educators
KUCHING: Thousands of children could miss out on proper early childhood education due to a staffing shortage of qualified graduate teachers in both government schools and private institutions.
This is due to a shortage of qualified early childhood professionals in pre-schools.
Only 60 per cent of Malaysian children go to pre-school before they get into Standard One, according to the Prime Minister’s Department.
“The problem is many of them cannot cope with the curriculum because they have not been to pre-school (the 40 per cent)," said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala in a recent Bernama report.
To address the immediate shortage, the government is taking steps to address this problem by ensuring quality training for pre-school teachers to increase the enrolment rate of children in pre-school.
Under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), the Ministry of Education in collaboration with SEGI College Sarawak is conducting pre-school teacher training in Sarawak.
The college is one of the institutions of higher learning which is providing the training in Malaysia to enhance pre-school education in the country, ensuring high quality standards for pre-school teachers, and to increase the enrolment rate of children in pre-school.
"It is crucial that child educators are equipped with good education and experience in educating children,” said SEGi College Sarawak Principal Stella Lau.
“Child educators second to parents in shaping the child, which in turn determines how the child behaves and perceives ideas in the future.”
SEGi College Sarawak has been approved to run the Early Childhood Education programme by Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) under Idris Jala.
The College is known for its recognised industry-driven programmes and has recently conducted a 3-week course on a Ministry of Education training for kindergarten teachers.
The first batch of 20 kindergarten teachers, from Kuching and Kota Samarahan, were selected by the Sarawak Education Department to attend this course.
The intensive course covered five modules and the examinations are set by the Ministry of Education.
“This is an exciting development. The programme is offered as there is a need to train and produce quality and excellent professional early childhood educators.
“We are pleased to be a part of this programme because we believe in quality care for children to ensure that their full and healthy development,” said Lau.
The teachers were provided with full course materials, manuals and CDs as well as meals to ensure proper time management of the programme.
“This training programme will prove to be beneficial to these teachers. We will share all our experience on early childhood education with them.”
“Since our lecturers have been in the industry before, they will be able to share many insights that a normal academician will lack.”
WE DID IT…The 20 teachers, accompanied by Lau (seated, 4th left) and Programme Coordinatior Daphne Vania Sin Suan (seated, 5th left) cheering after successfully completing their course.