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21 March 2015

[Borneo Post] Early childhood education book by SEGI academicans launched

KUCHING: Academicians from SEGi University’s faculty of early childhood care and education have published a book that studies the status and work conditions in the early childhood care and education (ECCE) sector and to provide recommendations to ECCE stakeholders.

Deputy Education Minister II, YB Kamalanathan P Panchanathan recently launched a book on early childhood education, jointly-penned by leading local experts in the field.

The book titled ‘Early Child Care and Education in Malaysia – Towards Professionalisation’, written by SEGi University’s faculty of early childhood and education academics, was launched in conjunction with the Facon Education Fair held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

The book is jointly penned by Lydia Foong, Dr Palanisamy K. Veloo and Professor Dr Mogana Dhamotharan.

“Early childhood education is an integral part of our education policy and we anticipate enrolment for pre-school to reach 92 per cent this year,” Kamalanathan said at the launch.

“Under the national key result areas’ (NKRA) initiative, the Ministry of Education must ensure that 891,329 children aged 4 and 5 across the country would obtain pre-school education provided either by the ministry, other government agencies, private sector or non-governmental organisations.”

He continued, “I am very happy to launch this book titled ‘Early Child Care and Education in Malaysia – Towards Professionalisation’,that I believe will assist in our target to have around 30,000 qualified pre-school teachers by year 2020.”

The authors were inspired to put their wealth of experience in writing to fill the gap in resources needed for researchers, policymakers, ECCE lecturers, students and practitioners, owing to the scarcity of materials on early childhood care and education in Malaysia.

The book also reviewed the work conditions status of ECCE in the country.

“In order to achieve the educational transformation agenda, a well-trained, motivated, and well compensated ECCE workforce is crucial to the future of our children,” explained Lydia Foong, a co-author.

“We need to recognise the potential of the workforce to help them fulfil their need for self-actualisation. The well-being of the workforce should be recognised to be as important as the transformation agenda established by the government.”

Palanisamy, another co-author added: “Despite overwhelming evidence from research which shows beneficial outcomes of having qualified ECCE professionals, early childhood educators are among the lowest paid professionals. Until recently, ECCE was not a career of choice among school leavers.”

“In our book, we have testimonies from various stakeholders in the ECCE field,” said another co-author, Prof Mogana.

“We have discovered that even though our government is doing all they can to ensure our children have access to quality preschools and childcare centres, it all depends on the grassroots levels. We have made several recommendations in the book, and we hope all ECCE practitioners will take to heart and be passionate advocates in the field.”

Approximately 25,000 Malaysians are involved in the private sector of ECCE, dedicating their lives to the care and education of the young from birth to six years of age in preschools (Tadika) and childcare centres (Taska) across the nation.

Numerous researches have indicated that qualified educators in these schools can help children grow to be fulfilled adults that have better life outcomes.

SEGi has a reputable history of equipping ECCE professionals, with more than 1,500 graduates in the ECCE field since 1999.

SEGi is also appointed champion of Entry Point Project 2 (EPP2) by Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu) to promote and train ECCE practitioners in the country.

The book is available at all major bookstores across the country at RM23.

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