WOU signed a memorandum of understanding with Kinderjoy Education Group (KinderJoy) to appoint KinderJoy as a learning laboratory for the teaching of WOU’s Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE) programme.
The MoU was signed by Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, Vice Chancellor of WOU, and Ms Stephanie Liu, Executive Director of KinderJoy, during a simple ceremony held at KinderJoy main campus, Ipoh, today. The witnesses were Prof Dr Santhiram Raman, Dean of the School of Education, Languages and Communications (SELC) of WOU, En Aznan Alias, Head of Special and Private Education Sector, Perak State Education Department, and Ms Looi Lee Ying, Academic Director and Principal, Tadika KinderJoy.
In his speech, Prof Ho said that WOU introduced the DECE programme in the part-time, open distance learning (ODL) mode in January 2017 to provide professional upgrading opportunities for existing and would-be teachers working in childcare and preschool centres who do not as yet possess diploma qualifications. “This is in line with the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) mandate for all preschool teachers, both in government and private agencies, to have at least a diploma in early childhood education by 2020.”
He continued, “The Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025) has projected that by year 2020, the number of children enrolled in preschools or childcare centres in Malaysia would reach about 900,000. It was also estimated that at least 26,000 teachers will need to obtain a minimum Diploma in Early Childhood Education qualification by 2020.”
Prof Ho shared that WOU has appointed one partner institution for each of the five Regional Centres of WOU in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kuching and Ipoh, to serve as learning laboratories, complete with necessary facilities, to support the teaching of the DECE courses.
The DECE is 90-credit programme, consisting of 29 courses, to be completed in 6 semesters over 3 years. It is accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency and approved by the MOE.
The programme was developed by external experts in the field of early childhood education, and cover courses on pedagogy, psychology, management and administration, curriculum planning, law and social policies, as well as entrepreneurship development.
Prof Ho highlighted, “Upon completion, graduates will have the knowledge, skills and competencies to be employed in childcare settings and preschools as teachers and administrators, while those teachers in preschool centres previously without formal qualifications will be suitably qualified to teach.”
He also praised KinderJoy for its offer of scholarships to current and prospective students to pursue the DECE programme at WOU. He encouraged more preschools to send or support their teachers to get the required diploma qualification at WOU, at an affordable cost of less than RM10,000 for a 3-year programme.
Tadika KinderJoy, established in 1996, is wholly-owned by KinderJoy Educare Services Sdn. Bhd. Its three centres are: Tadika KinderJoy (Main Campus) at Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainun (formerly Jalan Kampar), Sri Joy and Tadika KinderJoy (Botani Branch) at Bandar Seri Botani.