Government or not?

Seen in The Straits Times, INSIGHT, Saturday 28 July 2012

“Dr Khoo Kim Choo, who runs the Preschool for Multiple Intelligences along Newton Road, is also for the Government running kindergartens, at least the K2 level. That would standardise the curriculum and ensure all children have a smooth transition to primary school.

When there was a similar call to nationalise preschool education three years ago, then Education Minister Ng Eng Hen said there was no universally accepted model for kindergarten teaching. Imposing one would deprive parents of choice.

He also argued that bringing preschools into the formal school system runs the risk of an over-emphasis on academics.

The Government had a similar reasoning back in 1999 when it conducted a review of preschool education. Dr Aline Wong, then Senior Minister for Education, said the Government would not take over the sector but would look into ways to encourage kindergartens and childcare centres to improve the quality of their programmes.”

Dr Khoo and Ms Ho Yin Fong, academic director of the National Trades Union Congress-run Seed Institute, say they are not calling for all children to go to state-run kindergartens.

‘The Government could provide good preschools for the majority of the children. But it could also allow and support private operators who have a proven record of providing high-quality education. This way, parents will still have a choice,’ says Dr Khoo.”

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