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Malaysian Community Must Play A Bigger Role In Educating Our Children
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Malaysian Community Must Play A Bigger Role In Educating Our Children

The community plays a key role in the formative development of our youths.

Akmal Hakim

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“It takes a village to raise a child,” was the point made by a group of early childhood education experts who were present at the launch of the Taylor’s Centre for Childhood Development and Innovation (CCDI) at Taylor’s University in Subang Jaya on Thursday.

The group which included the Education Ministry’s Deputy Director of Education Policy Planning and Research Division Nor Saidatul Rajeah Zamzam Amin, Early Childhood Care and Education Council Malaysia (ECCE) President Prof. Dr Mariani Md Nor, and Taylor’s University Head of the School of Education Dr Logendra Stanley Ponniah, emphasised the important role that the community plays in the formative development of our youths.

(Credit: Taylor’s)

According to Nor Saidatul, Malaysia’s education system and curriculum are built toward the holistic development of infants, toddlers and children, and are quality controlled by guidelines like the ‘Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025’.

If we follow the blueprint, we can’t go wrong. To ensure the quality of our education, teachers must unpack the curriculum with creativity and innovation.

Education Ministry’s Deputy Director of Education Policy Planning and Research Division Nor Saidatul Rajeah Zamzam Amin.

She explained that the nation’s education policies and how we proceed to educate our youths are highly dependent on the input made by the community at large.

Education does not stop at school. The policy comes from the community as parents and their expectations play a key role in early childhood education.

Education Ministry’s Deputy Director of Education Policy Planning and Research Division Nor Saidatul Rajeah Zamzam Amin.

Prof. Mariani described that the community must learn to close the gaps that exist between home, school and the world at large in a child’s early development.

She said that parents must learn to manage their expectations and that the community as a whole must be more involved in helping our children gain the knowledge and skills they need later on in life.

A teacher’s role is not enough. It takes a village to raise a child and we need to engage together with parents, teachers, children and the community. There must also be a good relationship between teachers and parents because parents need to be informed and involved with their child’s education and not just be sending their kids off to school. Any form of skills and knowledge can be learned and practised regardless of a curriculum because it’s the people who teach.

Early Childhood Care and Education Council Malaysia (ECCE) President Prof. Dr Mariani Md Nor

Dr Logendra asserted that the community often ignores the value of early childhood education. Early childhood education, he said, is complex.

It’s when children learn how to learn, how to concentrate and learning how to love learning.

Taylor’s University Head of the School of Education Dr Logendra Stanley Ponniah

He explained that each and every one of us has a duty to create an environment that promotes the future generation to be better.

Providing an example, Dr Logendra quoted research which revealed that Malaysians on average only read two books a year and that only 40% of us enjoy reading. He concluded that we as a community must strive to leave better examples for our youths.

Learning is a living experience. We must broaden our perspective of who a teacher is and broaden the curriculum and its delivery mode because it’s the adults who are nurturing our future generation.

Taylor’s University Head of the School of Education Dr Logendra Stanley Ponniah

The ‘Dino’ Lab

The launch of Taylor’s CCDI was made in conjunction with the introduction of the Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE) program at the institution starting this August.

DECE will provide a comprehensive understanding of the core knowledge areas, competencies and values necessary for practitioners involved in early childhood education.

Serving as a stimulating classroom environment, the CCDI aims to be a lab for research and innovations in multi-disciplinary areas of physical, cognitive, language, emotional and social contexts of children’s development.

(Credit: Taylor’s)

Taking on a prehistoric world theme, the CCDI is stocked full of play and learn activities encompassing language and literacy, sand play and science, mathematics and manipulatives, active play areas, as well as arts and crafts sections that are relevant to the kind of learning strategies that encourages young children to develop their skills.

Taylor’s University Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Prof Dr Pradeep Nair said that the institution wants to empower the next frontier of childhood studies in Malaysia with a comprehensive, nurturing and collaborative education ecosystem.

Our partnership with prominent industry partners also provides students with real-world experiential learning. Students will have the opportunity to develop their confidence by participating in our Impact Labs and Multidisciplinary Learning Experience. Students will get to explore working with industry partners and other students of diverse backgrounds and disciplines to solve real-world problems.

Taylor’s University Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Prof Dr Pradeep Nair

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