Animal Interactions Put Smiles on Children’s Faces

With the exception of trips to the zoo, we hardly come across opportunities to pet or otherwise interact with exotic animals.

To the delight of animal lovers, WOU’s Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE) programme recently joined hands with Persatuan Guru-guru Tadika Pulau Pinang (PGTPP) to bring the zoo (or five animals, to be exact) to the WOU City Campus.

The one-day interactive event on 24 November 2022 presented an up-close encounter with exotic animals for pre-schoolers and adults alike. It was organised in conjunction with this year’s edition of the George Town Literary Festival (GTLF).

A student petting a prairie dog.

Sally Ng Chit Peng, President of PGTPP and Founder cum Senior Principal of JET Kinderland, said the event aimed to educate the children about the animal kingdom and its various characteristics. She believed the children would gain more knowledge from the educational experience because of their natural curiosity.

Five different species were brought along; they included two prairie dogs, a sphynx cat, a marmoset, a hedgehog, and a chameleon. For some of these, a licence is required to keep them as pets.

The children draw their favourite animal.

“We brought the animals today because they are something we don’t see often. This event gives the children a rare opportunity to pet them,” she shared. She added that the students then went on to enthusiastically display their creativity in illustrating their favourite animals.

Daniel Yeoh, branch principal of JET Kinderland, said the animals serve as the kindergarten’s mascots for its different branches. “It is the school’s unique feature to showcase these animals as an educational activity for the students and their parents,” he said.

Yeoh explaining about the prairie dog to teachers and students.

WOU’s School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences (SEHS) Dean, Assoc Prof Dr Thomas Chow Voon Foo, was happy to witness the children’s excitement and curiosity about the animals as it reminded him of his stint as a primary school teacher. “It really encourages me as an educator to see how the teachers here interact with the kids,” he remarked.

Dr Chow (1st from the left) and Ng (3rd from the left) together with teachers and students.

He highlighted that in addition to DECE, WOU offers the Master of Education as well as degree programmes in the fields of primary education, psychology and liberal studies.

The GTLF is Penang’s homegrown international literary festival celebrating literary arts, adaptations, and writings from around the world.

We use cookies to give you the best experience.