Home > News > Regional
Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 10:10:00 AM
Tuesday September 3, 2013 MYT 10:15:05 AM
Lam Sian Ling and husband Eddie Chee at the open house for upcoming Hampton@ Tanjong Pagar. They applied for a place for their daughter, due to be born this month. Between them is EtonHouse group managing director Ng Gim Choo. -The Straits Times / Asia News Network
A NEW bilingual pre-school championed by former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew has received overwhelming response.
About 300 young parents thronged the first open house for Hampton@Tanjong Pagar, which aims to give pupils a head start in learning two languages.
Lee announced the launch of the new centre last month at a National Day Dinner with residents in his Tanjong Pagar ward.
Yesterday’s open house – which attracted parents mainly from the Tiong Bahru area – was held off-site in Bishan as the pre-school will not be ready until December.
Hampton@Tanjong Pagar will be run by private operator EtonHouse and the PAP Community Foundation.
It will have an infant care centre and run kindergarten classes.
Just two weeks after registration opened on Aug 19, the 98 childcare places and 12 infant care vacancies were several times over-subscribed. More than 200 applications for childcare and 100 for infant care had been submitted as of yesterday.
Balloting will be held this month, said EtonHouse group managing director Ng Gim Choo.
The centre, which will start classes for its first batch in January, offers a bilingual English-Mandarin curriculum. Two teachers, one who speaks English and the other, Mandarin, will be present in the classroom at all times. To help the children develop cultural sensitivity and a natural love for Mandarin, they will be exposed to Chinese art, music, theatre and literature every day.
Procurement manager Jackson Lim, 32, who has applied for a place for his one-year-old son, said it was important for his child to be exposed to both English and Mandarin. “Kids absorb languages easily at a very early age. It’s good to expose them to English, a business language, and Mandarin which is often used in conversations in Asia,” he said.
Lee has previously said Singapore’s bilingualism policy makes learning difficult unless the child starts both languages at an early age. He said research by American social scientists had debunked the belief that teaching young children multiple languages would only confuse them. —The Straits Times / Asia News Network
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)