Fostering best practices in early childhood studies

(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.

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