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‘Moral, religious values dominant factors in children’s personal development’
Tarikh : 12 Oct 2021  Sumber Berita: Borneo Post Online
 

 

KUCHING (Oct 3): Early childhood care and education (ECCE) teachers should instill in young children noble moral and religious values as a way to give them a head start in life.

In making this call, Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah believes that the character or personality of an individual is shaped by the moral and religious values that one upholds.

“It is the dominant factor that would determine how one uses the knowledge and skills for personal development, or for the good of the community and mankind at large.

“Thus, it is important for parents and teachers to inculcate the right values in children during their formative years.

“The ministry aims to have qualified, educated and skillful teachers and caregivers who have the right attitude and aptitude, to ensure quality early childhood care and education for our children in Sarawak,” she said at the virtual launch of Sarawak Preschool International Convention 2021, themed ‘Character-Building in the New Norm’ hosted by her ministry, yesterday.

Fatimah said before the Covid-19 pandemic, ECCE classes had been fully conducted face-to-face and educators were able to interact with their young pupils.

“Character-building was then developed through planned activities or those integrated into other activities, especially during informal sessions and socialisation.

“However, now lots of classes, even the ECCE ones, have shifted online where character-building has become a great challenge under the new norm.

“As Covid-19 evolves from being pandemic to endemic, we need to adapt ourselves to the new norm in our teaching and learning. Through this convention, participants can exchange ideas and learn from one another the best practices in facing new challenges in ECCE,” she said.

Fatimah observed that the valuable face-to-face nurturing, teaching and learning had ‘slipped by’ and thus, she called upon ECCE teachers to gear themselves up in preparing for the recovery of lost time, operating under the new norm.

“Conventions such as this should help equip them (teachers) with the right approach, strategies, skills and knowledge to teach and nurture effectively, despite the new norm.

“Our young children had experienced interrupted education. As such, ECCE teachers play a pivotal role in ensuring that these young children could catch up on their learning and character development so that they would be better prepared for entry to formal schooling.”

Fatimah also informed the convention participants that to support all preschool operators throughout these challenging times, the Sarawak government had allowed preschool operators to use the Special Annual Grant (GTK) of RM5,000 to purchase masks, hand soaps, hand sanitisers, or to pay for sanitisation works on their institutions, and to do minor works that would suit their needs.

“The GTK slated for registered preschools was incepted in 2019 and since then, the government has provided (a total of) RM16 million for this grant programme,” she said.

She also said in preparing for the recovery stage, all teachers and staff members of early childhood institutions would have to be vaccinated – for now, 98.08 per cent of them in Sarawak had undergone vaccination.

Participants of the three-day Sarawak Preschool International Convention comprise not only local ECCE teachers and caregivers, but also international participants from Peninsular Malaysia as well as those from Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan – with more than 1,000 having signed up.

Five international speakers would present their papers during the sessions, while Sarawak preschool practitioners would table the outcomes of the ‘Pre-Convention Workshop’, which was held in June this year.

“The convention aims to increase the knowledge and understanding of educators on the basics of human-character formation among children, and to identify the challenges in shaping of human characters, talents, interest and potential of children during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as to enhance the educators’ skills in the new norms,” said the organiser in a statement.

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