Monday, September 26, 2016

Ministry’s new policy on preschools worries Fatimah

SIBU: Sarawak is very concerned with the Ministry of Education’s new policy that expanding or opening of preschool classes would be based on additional classes at zero cost.

This means preschool classes could only be created without additional cost.

Minister of Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said the Sarawak Early Childhood Education Development Council (MPAKS) and her ministry were very concerned with this directive as it would affect the quality and coverage of preschool education in the state.

“The Key Performance Index (KPI) to achieve 100 per cent enrolment of Primary/Year one pupils with preschool experience will be affected,” she said at the closing of the 11th Pre-School Education Convention here yesterday.

“We sincerely hope the Ministry of Education will review the directive next year to ensure that accessibility and equity of preschool education in Sarawak is further enhanced, particularly for the rural populace.”

On another matter, she said the state government was committed to ensure that preschool teachers in the state were competent.

To ensure the systematic growth of early childhood education, she said MPAKS and her ministry had developed a blue print for the years 2016–2020.

She said by 2020, the target was that 100 per cent of the estimated 123,000 children aged four to six years would receive early childhood education at registered preschool institutions.

Seventy per cent of them would study in government preschools, while the rest would be cared for by the private sector.

“By 2020 too, our target is that 15 per cent of the estimated 164,000 young ones ages below four years will receive early education at registered preschool institutions. The remaining 85 per cent will be coached and cared for by their family members at home.”

To ensure these families have effective guidelines to follow, MPAKS had come up with the Children Nursing at Home Guide Book.

~ Borneo Post

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