Azlan Othman & Daniel Lim
Nearly 3,000 children registered to attend pre-school this year, according to the Ministry of Education (MoE).
Yesterday, 1,587 boys and 1,371 girls around the country began their first day at pre-school classes.
According to the ministry, 116 government primary schools have pre-school classes this year.
At Orang Kaya Besar Imas Primary School in Subok, 11 new pre-schoolers began their education.
“Only one cried,” headmistress Hajah Masriatol Nazahiyah binti Haji Mohammad told the Bulletin. “He eventually calmed down after meeting new friends.”
The headmistress said an orientation programme was held last November, to inform new students that “going to school is fun”.
To welcome the new students yesterday, activities including puzzles and singing were arranged.
They also ensured classrooms were clean, and had adequate stationary and supplies, she said, adding that ”Teachers also discuss every issue to make sure they are solved with optimum outcome.”
In the Belait District yesterday, 19 pre-school students began their first day at Muhammad Alam Primary School (SRMA) in Seria; with three of them differently-abled. “Last November, we had an orientation where the parents, guardians and the children attended talks detailing the school’s rules and regulations and toured the premises,” said the school’s Deputy Headmistress Siti Hairani binti Haji Ibrahim.
”This was to ensure that both the parents and guardians will be able to have a peace of mind in sending their children to school, while also familiarising the students with their new learning environment.”
The deputy principal added that the school has also paid special attention to the differently-abled students at the school.
“In SRMA, we are fortunate to have a special learning environment, where the students can acquire many life skills with trained teachers,” she said.
In preparation to help children adjust to the start of school, the MoE, through the Early Childhood Education Unit (UPAKK) implemented several initiatives, including the pre-school orientation programme for new pre-school children last November, staggering entry and registration for pre-school children as well as the temporary job placements for ‘A’ and ‘O’ Level graduates as assistant teachers.
These initiatives ensure that every stakeholder in early childhood education are better prepared to provide a holistic and balanced education to pre-schoolers and to improve the quality of education in the country.