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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

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Not schooled in writing about pre-school

I declare the Education ministry the worst communicator in the world…

Because I am interested in the pre-school changes which was reported on Friday, I took a look at the press statement on its website. And I found ….gooblededook, cluck cluck, yak yuck. Gosh, this is the Education ministry and the staff can’t speak/write plain English! So long as bureaucrats write like this, there will always be a need for journalists to do translation work.

I mean ….take a look at this.
The early years are important for a child’s development. Quality pre-school education will provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences for young children to develop holistically and nurture positive attitudes towards learning.

In other words, pre-schools will make sure the children learn to like learning.

It will also help the children develop foundational literacy and numeracy skills and build up confidence as well as self-management and social skills. This foundational development will enable children to have a smoother transition from pre-school to formal education in primary schools.
That means: They will help your children read, write and count, as well as learn how to make friends. This way the children won’t be shell-shocked when they move to Primary one.

Over the years, especially following the last major review of pre-school education in 2008, the Government has improved the accessibility, affordability and quality of pre-school education (these three always go together like a three-in-one formula) through strategies and programmes (both always together also) to enhance teacher, programme and centre quality (quality of all three things, in case you aint got the rhythm yet). Steady progress has been made (I don’t know if it is steadily slow, steadily fast or just steady lah). The Government will now step up its efforts to accelerate the quality improvements in the sector (sounds important doesn’t it? Not just step up, must also accelerate).

Okay, enough of the preamble already. What’s the meat? I picked just two:
Draw up a Comprehensive Kindergarten Curriculum
To encourage pre-schools to improve the quality of their programmes and benchmark themselves against recognised quality standards, MOE implemented the Singapore Pre-School Accreditation Framework (SPARK) in 20112. (Don’t you love acronyms? ) Currently, teaching and learning in kindergarten programmes are guided by MOE’s Kindergarten Curriculum Framework (Another fave of bureaucrats – framework) published in 2003 (which has what key points?) . For younger children, MCYS recently introduced the Early Years Development Framework (again) in 2011 (which is what?). MOE is refreshing (different from revamp, rejuvenate, remake, recreate? So just minor change?) the Kindergarten Curriculum Framework (again) to incorporate the latest research (like what?) on early childhood education. The revised Framework (again…are you asleep yet?) will also contain learning goals (thot the learning goal is to learn to learn) at the end of K2 to ensure children have a smooth transition from pre-school to primary one. It will be completed at the end of 2012, and made available to all pre-schools. (By now, I don’t even know what is going to be completed….)

To enhance programme quality (enhance is another fave word) and strengthen its delivery (like fast food like dat) across the sector, MOE will develop a comprehensive kindergarten curriculum (as opposed to its current slim one? comprising the updated framework (now which one is this?), a teachers’ guide, and teaching and learning resources (you mean books and stuff?) to support teachers in nurturing and developing (two verbs that always go together) children’s knowledge, skills and dispositions (usual three things in a row). Some of these resources will be made available by the first half of 2013. (I still don’t know what resources being talked about)
Setting up Government Pilot Centres to Catalyse Quality Improvements (catalyse? You mean spur on or something more chemical?)
As part of greater government involvement in raising (I think enhanced already used) the quality of pre-school education, MOE will set up several pilot pre-school centres over the next few years. These pre-school centres will allow MOE to incorporate the relevant research findings (still dunno which) on effective teaching and learning (two verbs that go together) in pre-schools, develop appropriate teaching resources and develop best practices (develop is a useful word…used soooo many times…you can develop anything…seriously). These will be shared with other operators in the industry to serve as catalysts (!) for quality improvements (vague enough term to mean anything). MOE will work through the implementation details of these pre-school centres, including the number and location of centres to be set up initially, and when these would be ready to take in students. (You mean, you will decide later when, how many and where these pre-schools will be located)
I mean, come on! Surely, the Education ministry can write better than this. Isn’t simple language skills and clear communication something you teach in pre-school? Aiyoyo.

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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