Two graduates from WOU’s Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE) programme were honoured by the Perak Kindergarten Teachers Association (Persatuan Guru-Guru Tadika Perak) for lifelong learning.
Chee Moy Kia, 74, and Mok Kam Wei, 49, received the Lifelong Learning Award during the Association’s Teachers’ Day celebration held on 15 May 2022.
Chee and Mok, who enrolled through the Ipoh Regional Centre (IPRC), completed their studies and graduated in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Chee has been in education for 51 years. She spent the first 33 years as a primary school teacher and later, vice principal, and the subsequent 18 years, until now, managing a kindergarten. “Ever since I was in elementary school, I aspired to be a teacher,” she said.
She pursued DECE to fulfil her dreams of a university qualification and to meet the government requirements for all kindergarten teachers to have at least a diploma. She was able to apply what she learnt to guide the kids in her kindergarten. “Every child has different talents, personalities and learning abilities, and so we adapt our teaching accordingly,” she shared.
She appreciates the award from the Association, looking at it as a gesture to “respect and appreciate the learning spirit of the elders”. Chee is indeed a testament to lifelong learning; she also holds a diploma from the Academy of Fine Arts along with a professional diploma in traditional Chinese medicine. Her philosophy is ‘Live and learn’.
Meanwhile Mok is a principal at Tadika Sihat Ria, Ipoh, which she founded in January 2007. She has been in early childhood education for 30 years, having entered the field at the age of 19 because she loves children. She currently manages her kindergarten alone due to the dwindling enrolment numbers caused by the recent lockdowns. She conducts tuition for 10-15 primary school kids at the kindergarten to supplement her income.
She took up DECE because otherwise, she would not be able to get her licence renewed and continue operating the kindergarten.
On her award, she responded, “It is fulfilling and rewarding because I have been in this line for so long. The award makes me feel like all my hard work and efforts in teaching the kids are not wasted.”
The Association joined WOU’s Valued Partnership Programme (VPP) in December 2021. Under the VPP, members of the Association can study at WOU with a 20% discount on their tuition fees.