Programme to nurture early childhood education

The UOW Malaysia KDU campus in Utropolis Glenmarie offers cutting-edge facilities.

TWO established institutions — one in tertiary studies and the other in early childhood education — have teamed up to drive what promises to be a key enhancement of pre-school education in the country.

Coming in the form of Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE), this programme is set to be a game changer in Malaysia’s preschool education sector through the synergistic partnership of UOW Malaysia KDU and Real Kids.

The DECE programme will significantly meet the need for a bigger pool of qualified and skilled pre-school academic workforce.

This is in line with the education road map of the nation and the government’s goal of elevating the quality of Early Childhood Education (ECE) in the country by providing more professional upgrading opportunities for existing pre-school teachers.

The collaboration brings together the expertise of UOW Malaysia KDU in delivering tertiary studies and Real Kids’ 30 years of applied pedagogy in early childhood education.

“We are happy to partner UOW Malaysia KDU to establish the best Diploma in Early Childhood Education programme in Malaysia,” said Dr Goh Chee Leong, chief executive officer of Real Education Group.

“University of Wollongong has a world-class early childhood education programme and with our experienced team of educators at Real Kids, we have created a programme that combines academic strength with a hands-on approach that will expose students to the cutting-edge practices from around the world,” Goh added.

UOW Malaysia KDU has been a household name for tertiary studies in Malaysia for almost four decades, and is now a part of the University of Wollongong (UOW) Australia Global Network.

Ranked among the top 1% of universities worldwide, UOW Australia is recognised for its specialised early childhood programme.

It now brings its reputation for innovation with UOW Malaysia KDU’s Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

“This collaboration addresses two factors holding back the advancement of early childhood education in Malaysia,” said UOW Malaysia KDU vice-chancellor Prof Hiew Pang Leang.

“The first is the need for a skilled pre-school academic workforce to drive the nation’s education road map.

“The second is to provide professional upgrading opportunities to existing pre-school teachers, as there is a requirement by the government for all early childhood educators to have at least diploma-level training,” added the professor.

Real Kids took root in 1988 and opened its first kindergarten in Subang. In 2001, it formulated an in-house curriculum and applied the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. It began bagging multiple awards after that.

Its latest win, in 2020, was the Parents’ Choice Awards by Parenthood Magazine Malaysia, winning the “Best Pre-school Programme”, “Best Trilingual Curriculum” and “Best Kindergarten Centre (Chain)” titles.

It is a member of XCL Education, one of the largest premier education groups in Malaysia and Singapore, serving more than 20,000 pupils over 100 pre-schools, international schools, private schools and enrichment centres.

This augmentation of the Malaysian workforce in early childhood education will not only create a viable and attractive profession for the younger generation but also elevate the sub-sector to be on par with that of developed nations.

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