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7 April 2015

[The Sun Daily] New book on early childhood education

Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan recently launched a book on early childhood education.

Titled Early Child Care and Education in Malaysia—Towards Professionalisation, the book is written by SEGi University’s Faculty of Early Childhood and Education academics and is jointly penned by Lydia Foong, Dr Palanisamy K. Veloo and Prof Dr Mogana Dhamotharan.

The book was launched in conjunction with the Facon Education Fair held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

“Early childhood education is an integral part of our education policy and we anticipate enrolment for pre-school to reach 92% 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 four and five across the country would obtain pre-school education provided either by the ministry, other government agencies, private sector or non-governmental organisations.

“I am very happy to launch this book that I believe will assist in our target to have around 30,000 qualified pre-school teachers by year 2020,” he said.

The authors were inspired to put their wealth of experience in writing to fill the gap in resources needed for researchers, policymakers, and Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) lecturers, students and practitioners.

The book also reviewed the status work conditions of the 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,” Foong said.

“We need to recognise the potential of the workforce to help them fulfil their needs 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 said, “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 Mogana.

“We have discovered that even though our government is doing all they can to ensure our children have access to quality pre-schools 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.”

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

Its appointment as champion of EPP2 by the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu) surely reflects its status as an authority in the field.

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

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