About a week back, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted in his National Day Message, the need to prepare young Singaporeans for the new world.
“We want every child to have a good start in life, and a bright future.”
Indeed, every parent (grandparents as well) want the best for their child and would want to have a good foundation for their child in terms of pre-school education.
But what exactly is a good start/foundation in life for kids of preschool age (4-6)?
For some parents, they feel that a good foundation means their children are taught basic literacy and numeracy skills at a young age. Others see good foundation as imparting good values.
So it is very different from parent to parent. But in the last 5 years, the idea of a good foundation has been changing.
Whatever foundation means to you, you can be sure that much has been done to provide a good foundation for every child. Besides the government, preschool operators have been helping to educate and shape the lives of our children.
In 2013, the government launched the Early Childhood And Development Agency (ECDA) as the regulatory and developmental authority for the early childhood sector in Singapore.
One of the plans that ECDA has put in place to develop the early childhood sector is to attract and retain more preschool teachers into the industry. And to do that, the ECDA has tried to change the image of preschool teachers from nannies and caregivers, to qualified educators.
Anecdotally, preschool teachers have said that some parents have been expecting them to do more than just teach during lessons.
For example, if the child happens to soil his or her pants during lessons, the teacher is expected to help the child change his or her uniform.
Would this make for a career or job for you if you were expected to do more than just teach children but perform duties such as changing uniforms for the students?
Surely, for the early childhood learning to improved, there is a need for good talent to be attracted into the sector to make things work.
PM Lee will definitely speak about the issue of early childhood education in tomorrow’s National Day Rally as he promised. But it remains to be seen what he will introduce to further upgrade and develop the early childhood sector in order to give our next generation a better foundation in life so that they can advance and do better than the current generation regardless of their starting point.