Standardization of Pre-school education

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Standardization of Pre-school education

Postby sglee1970 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:18 pm

Original title: don't you think something's wrong ...

i don't understand why the government can't do something about the standardisation of syllabus, especially for pre-school (k1, k2) kids.. why can't essential contents like phonics, hanyu pingying, abacus etc be incorporated into key pre-school subject contents..

why do parents have to worry and send their kids for additional enrichment classes and incur higher costs which reduce their disposal income available for other forms of family expenditure and time for precious family activities... this applies not only to pre-school kids but primary school kids as well... key essential activity contents like swimming gymnastics etc, should be make compulsory so that everyone can benefit for such content planning, availabilty, resource optimisation..

learning though school is a way we can ensure systematic and comprehensive learning to avoid duplication and unnecessary waste of resources... i believe if we get this correct, we can better utilise both or financial and physical resources and a well-balanced education...

the ministry should study the expenditure patterns of an average household ... i.e. how much they spend on pre-school kids enrichment classes + outside ccas.. it should not surprise them that a pre-school kid's monthly expenditure can easily exceed that of a non-spendthrift adult..

sglee1970
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Postby jedamum » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:39 pm

even if govt standardize preschool syllabus, parents who felt that they can give their kids an edge by enrolling them in enrichment will still go ahead and do it (much akin to the present primary school system).
there are people who did not send their kids to enrichment and their kids still survive primary school (of course some may play catching up depending on the kids' ability and school expectations); it's a matter of own expectations. if want to be kiasu, then have to pay for enrichment loh.

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Re: don't you think something's wrong ...

Postby ChiefKiasu » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:46 pm

sglee1970 wrote:i don't understand why the government can't do something about the standardisation of syllabus, especially for pre-school (k1, k2) kids.. why can't essential contents like phonics, hanyu pingying, abacus etc be incorporated into key pre-school subject contents..


Actually, there was a committee set up a couple of months back to address this very issue. They are looking at making compulsory education as early as 5 years old, which will enable the regulation of pre-schools to the extent that you are hoping for.

But it is a double-edged sword. Would it make parents start their own pre-pre-school education as early as 2 years old to prepare their children to do well when they are in pre-school? :!: Scary thought. :scared:

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Postby sglee1970 » Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:59 am

i think parents need to rid themselves of this kiasuism... especially at this early stage of childhood .... and let themselves and their kids lead a more interesting and fruitful life... not everything is about academic excellance ... it's more of greater exposures and enriching one's lifestyles ... we need to get our priorities right now that we've gone through the cycle ourselves and experience the entire education system ..

i alwasy tell all kids and their parents, children should really play hard till they finish psle since hey'll have lesser time to do some in secondary schools given the double academic workload ... even then, they'll still have to strive to pick up more activities learn more skills while they're in school...

basically once we've greater standardisation in terms of contents, the authority can then focus on the delivery methods and enhance performances in those subjects instead...presently, every school offers different key syllabus, parents being kiasu will try to send kids to cover as much as they can...

in the first place, parents shouldnt be worried about any schools offering less than another... but that's not the case.. and only the authority can make that happen.. and in order to do that, the latter needs to gather as much hot subjects and incorporate them into its basic main syllabus (eg. phonics, hangyu pingying, abacus, drama, reading skills) ... certain stuff needs to be mandatory within the syllabus, others made available through schools but as elective... that'll also make greater sense out of the full day school system the ministry advocates... at the moment, considering the time children spend on enrichment and tuition cclasses, it's equivalent to a full day school system ... the only difference is those extra classes are private sessions and the children need to move from one place to another and the parents do the fetching

jedamum & ChiefKiasu - i think the latest government move is primarily aimed at controlling costs and the business aspects than content syllabus... with standardisation, parents only need to send kids for other skill training (not the core ones already taught in schools).. so that they'll have wider exposures and choices ...

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Postby Emelyn » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:56 am

Hi,

What do you the kids should be able to do by end of K2, in the area of Math, English and Chinese ?
For eg, addition of single digit or double digit or 3 digit, know all the hanyu pinyin ??

Regards

Emelyn
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Postby sunset_dae » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:06 am

Recently, i went to visit a MMI childcare centre, they children at K2 could do the following things:

1) write simple composition
2) do mulitiplication (4 digits x 4 digits)! :!:
3) Knows all the hanyu pinyin
4) Most have acquired the phoncis skills

Its amazing how the pre-school are preparing the children for P1!



Emelyn wrote:Hi,

What do you the kids should be able to do by end of K2, in the area of Math, English and Chinese ?
For eg, addition of single digit or double digit or 3 digit, know all the hanyu pinyin ??

Regards

sunset_dae
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Postby sglee1970 » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:49 am

By K2, children should be able to accomplish the following ...

maths - should be able to count, do simple addition and subtraction, know what're even and odd nos, time (second, minute, hour, day, month, year), basic concepts like shapes, weight, materials etc (multiplication shouldnt be required at this stage.. but if can do 2,4,6... 5, 10, 15 and 10,20, 30.. would be good enough and not difficult to master)

english - phonics, spell common words, read a book and recite a short story (expression+tone), write short sentences, basic grammar (+simple conjunctions), basic idioms/proverbs ..have a standard graded vocabulary list to master/cover

chinese - hanyu pingying (beware of children confusing it with phonics), word strokes and the leading character (side) to words related to a subject (water-related, hand-related etc etc), proper sentence structure (expression+tone).. basic idioms/proverbs .. have a standard graded vocabulary list to master/cover

the above are the basic skills to acquire but by k2, children should be taught other non-textbook stuff like courtesy (being responsive, polite, considerate etc), organisation (sorting of things in order, putting things back to order, neatness etc), articulation/expression (diction, tone, full comprehensive replies rather than short, flippant ones), enthusiasm for books and story reading, being proactive and vocal and having the curiosity to explore and ask....and as part of story sharing rather than focus all the fictitious moral stories to cover general stuff (like those materials in children encyclopedia) so that the more they know about the basic workings of things in life, the more they'll be led into questionning... all these to be inculcated into their daily way of life, become common practices/behaviour ... not just in school...

if the centres can cover all these in an integrated manner, parents can save all their enrichment expenses or even route it to this one-stop center (with economies of scale) and reduce their logistics costs (transport, waiting, fetching which add to parental stress) ... we need better qualified and ethusiastic preschool teachers now that our education system has produced more highly educated folks ... there's a role for everyone, to even specialise and be gainfully employed rather than underemployed.. the authority doing the planning just need to do a more thorough job and in an integrated, comprehensive manner ...

the performing private centers are spending the dollars to deliver it in all subjects.. and the parents are subscribing to that. by incorporating a wider and higher standard syllabus into our curriculum, it's enabling every parent to allow their child access to the program and not worry about losing out.. All are included unless you choose to opt out.. and it's not a do the basic approach but do a comprehensive and higher standard, endowing every kid with the same knowledge and opportunity to stretch himself..

parents are sending kids for swimming, gymnastics, martial arts, speech-drama, music, dancing, robot modelling, football, skating, track classes... there should be an integrated center in major town centers to cover integrated sports etc development for kids below 12, not at community centers (if the programs aren't systematic)... what i wish is for an integrated approach rather than piece-meal random uneven development (syllabus+continuity) approach cos these activities/ exposures are good to have.. parents should just concern themselves with what to choose, not which centers are offering better programs in terms of content depth..

all this may seem rather demanding to many but what i'd seek is not extraordinary... just a better reorganisation of resources, better comprehensive syllabus with depth and breadth plus an integrated systematic trackable approach make accessible to all children, not just the resourceful and the financially and better educated lot.. delivered by the trained and enthusiastic..with emphasis more on full proper exposures, right attitude than sheer subject excellence ..

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