Every Sarawakian child to receive early education, says Minister

Fatimah (third right) showing the SeDidik transformation direction, while Assistant Minister for Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Rosey Yunus (fourth left) and other representatives from SeDidik look on – Picture from New Sarawak Tribune

By John Isaac

THE state government wants every Sarawakian child to have access to early childhood education (ECE) and SeDidik Sdn Bhd (SeDidik) will help the government achieve this noble aim.

In reiterating this, Minister of Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said currently, 97.19 percent of Sarawakian children had access to ECE.

“We want it to be 100 per cent, which means every child has access to ECE. We will see in the year 2021, with those entering primary one, how many of them have actually received ECE,” she said as reported by New Sarawak Tribune.

Fatimah added that so far, there were 99 SeDidik centres statewide, with 79 nurseries and 20 kindergartens providing ECE to 2,262 children.

After attending a presentation on the SeDidik transformation direction, the minister said SeDidik would focus mainly on providing ECE.

Before this, SeDidik focused on parenting and community development as well as providing care and guidance to the children.

“SeDidik will continue to work with parents through a new programme called Majlis Permuafakatan Ibu Bapa dan SeDidik (Sedidik and Parents Consensus Council), which is to replace the Kelab Ibu Bapa SeDidik (SeDidik Parents Club.

“The ministry together with SeDidik also agreed to combine Mutiara SeDidik and Perdana SeDidik into one SeDidik institution,”said Fatimah.

The minister added that SeDidik would network with other early childhood institutions in the country and outside Malaysia.

“We have seen good practices in Malaysia and outside Malaysia. We should cooperate with quality ECE institutions,” she said.

Fatimah revealed that SeDidik would continue to use the National Preschool Curriculum Standard like other preschools.

“The nurseries will follow the Permata curriculum while retaining a few things that SeDidik has implemented before, including the Added Value Curriculum Programme.

“This will make SeDidik different from the other ECE institutions because it has value-added programmes, namely Let’s Begin, English Fun Learning (EFL), Sunshine Balanced Reading Programme for English, SeDidik’s Thematic Modules and Dr Glenn Doman Method for babies and parents,” she said.

Fatimah said SeDidik would also focus on digitalisation and digitalisation of learning materials and experiences for ECE.

“Also, we will continue to provide professional development and training for the teachers to strengthen staff competencies in line with current needs and demands,” she said.

Fatimah said the SeDidik transformation direction plan would be proposed to the SeDidik board soon for approval and endorsement.