WOU is conducting a series of briefings for principals of kindergartens and nursery centres on the new Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE) programme that is set to be offered via open distance learning (ODL) in the January 2017 intake.
Dean of the School of Education, Languages and Communications (SELC), Prof Santhiram Raman shared that the 90-credit Diploma programme consists of 29 courses for completion in 6 semesters or 3 years. â€śThere are four courses in the first semester, and five courses in each of the remaining semesters,â€ť he informed.
The first briefing cum tea talk session held in the main campus today was attended by 10 principals, with the second for Penang planned in December. Similar briefings are also being held at WOUâ€™s Regional Centres in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Ipoh and Johor Bahru.
Prof Santhiram said the purpose of the DECE programme is to provide professional upgrading opportunities for existing or would-be teachers working in childcare and pre-schools centres who do not possess diploma qualifications. This is to help them keep in line with the Ministry of Educationâ€™s (MOE) ruling for all preschool teachers, both in government and private agencies, to have at least a diploma by year 2020.
He stressed that the DECE offers training to enhance teaching professionalism and the quality of teachers in Early Childhood Education. He urged the attendees to send their teachers to WOU as the ODL part-time study allows students to continue in their job while they pursue their diploma.
He assured that the DECE had been developed by external experts in the field of early childhood education. He said the courses in DECE cover pedagogy, psychology, management and administration, curriculum planning, law and social policies, as well as entrepreneur development.
He cited 6 reasons to study with WOU, namely affordable tuition fees; quality education supported by experienced academicians; extensive network of learning centres; flexibility; approved by MOE and Malaysian Qualifications Agency; and electives for mother-tongue teachers.
Prof Santhiram said students can choose to attend tutorials in any of the centres or study independently via the learning management system,Â WawasanLearn, and submit assignments online. He added that students can opt for Mandarin language pedagogy or Tamil Language Pedagogy from the four elective modules to equip themselves to teach more effectively.