THE question that is frequently asked by almost everyone that I know,
“Bila akak nak buka preschool, saya nak hantar anak saya ke preschool akak.” atau “Bila you nak buka preschool, we need more quality preschool by qualified practitioners.”
No, I don’t have any plan to ‘buka preschool’ at the moment even though some say I am ‘wasting’ my Master in Early Childhood Education from the UK. Moreover I have no idea how long we will be back for good therefore it’s not easy to commit to such an establishment.
Early Childhood Education is not just about teaching the 3 or 4R ie. reading, writing, arithmetic (and reasoning). 0-8 is the age whereby we ‘build’ the whole child by developing the whole brain. A child’s brain does not only control the intellectual aspect of a child. It in fact controls everything about a child and determine the type of adult a child is going to be. If we think all that is required at this stage is a preschool that is able to prepare our child to be ‘clever’ enough to get number 1 in primary school, then we are wrong there to begin with.
Just a bit of a guideline on what Early Childhood Education is all about apart from learning the 3R that is by default well-known to everyone.
1) Physical aspect: develop a child’s biological and physical functions, including coordination and motor skills so that the child is confident enough to use his/her body and understand bodily functions.
2) Cognitive aspects: embody the way in which a child makes sense of the world and organises information. This includes problem solving, creativity, imagination and memory.
3) Social aspect: develop a child’s skill to understand societal values and interact with others. It also develop his/her understanding of their responsibilities and rights as members of families and communities and also the ability to relate to and work with others.
4) Emotional aspect: develop a child’s emotional connections and develops self-confidence. Emotional connections develop empathy in children in the sense that children are able to relate to other people and share feelings.
5) Language aspect: develop a child’s communication skill, including how they present their feelings and emotions. Children need to be exposed to communication with others in order to pick up language.
These are the aspects that we need to develop in a child during the early years of his/her life and also during teenage years and adolescence, in order for a child to thrive and grow up to be a positive member of the society.
Even though I don’t venture into the preschool ‘business’, through Parent Connect I work mainly with parents and practitioners/teachers for them to understand the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of personal, social and emotional aspect of development which are as crucial as learning the ABCs and 123s in building a whole-child.
That’s about it. Sorry, I didn’t expect the status to be this long, to be honest. 🙂
Noor Afidah Abu Bakar
Parent Connect Consultancy