MOE to share teaching, learning resources with pre-school sector
News of the Ministry of Education (MOE) plan to run 50 kindergartens by 2023 - announced at the National Day Rally - has prompted some parents and industry observers to fear that this will mean more academic pressure for pre-schoolers.
But the MOE is looking to challenge those perceptions as it moves to share more teaching and learning resources with the rest of the pre-school sector based on its curriculum to raise teaching standards.
They emphasise the value of "purposeful play" and having "quality interactions".
Since last year, a set of MOE-developed kindergarten curriculum resources based on its Nurturing Early Learners framework have been delivered to more than 800 pre-schools.
An online portal (www.nel.sg) was also started this year, allowing all pre-school educators to get lesson ideas from the portal, and share good practices and lesson activities with each other.
No rote learning is involved in the MOE's pre-school curriculum, said Ms Juliet Chia, a senior specialist in pre-school education from the MOE's education services division.
Rather, its framework emphasises the holistic development of a child, and the MOE kindergarten curriculum also has a focus on early childhood bilingualism.
Stated learning objectives do not require a child to be able to spell out certain words. Rather, they include goals like getting a child to be able to enjoy reading and understand what they read.
Extra time is dedicated towards the mother tongue language programme.
MOE kindergartens have frequent interactions with the primary schools that they are situated in and this has helped primary school educators better understand what to expect of pre-schoolers, said Ms Serena Park, who heads the MOE kindergarten in Riverside Primary School.
"After learning that there are no spelling tests in our kindergartens, the principal (of Riverside Primary) has realised that they can't expect children to spell immediately in the first term, and that they have to gradually ease them into it," added Ms Park.