HAVING consulted the College of Consultors, His Grace Most Reverend…
They are being encouraged to work closely with their Parish Pastoral Committees (PPC) to set up the Mission Tadika so as to ensure that the Catholic faith can be inculcated in the children as from a very young age.
Catholic parents, parish priests and PPC, coming together in synergy, would do well to speed the setting up of Mission Tadika.
Responding to the need for a correct Christian start pre-school teaching, Archbishop John Wong has set up the Archdiocesan Early Childhood Education Committee (AECEC) to oversee issues related to the existing and future mission kindergartens.
The AECEC which has experienced and expert volunteers at their disposal are more than willing to provide a helping hand to Parish priests and PPCs to help ensure that their Mission Tadika are set on the proper footing.
“The need for early childhood education is of utmost importance in today’s world and the responsibility lies on the shoulders of everyone – the Parish priests, the PPCs as well as Catholic parents in the Archdiocese,” Archbishop John Wong told Catholic Sabah.
“Presently our children enrolled in secular kindergartens are hardly shared any Christian faith. Parents are strongly urged to enrol your children in the Mission Tadika.”
Archbishop Wong said this matter has been raised at the Priests Meeting and more recently, Fr Jalius Sading, who is the Adviser to the AECEC, made a complete presentation to all the priests in the Archdiocese.
The AECEC under the leadership of retired executive education officer, Jennifer Anjek. has prepared the Instrument of Government for the setting up of the Mission Tadika and as such there is no reason for any quarter to even hint that they lack the necessary experience.
In a special interview with Catholic Sabah, Jennifer said the Instrument of Government which serves as a guideline for the Board of Governors of each Mission Tadika is ready and available. The instrument provides the necessary information and management of the Mission Tadika which includes employment and salary matrix for teachers, duties, regulations and contract sample.
Booklets of the Instrument were distributed at the previous priests meetings and to visited kindergartens.
Jennifer also said that a government ruling, to be enforced by 2018 would see kindergarten teachers having to acquire a Diploma in Early Childhood Education (DECE) as it is the minimum qualification for kindergarten teachers to acquire a teaching permit.
This is in line with the implementation of the new National Standard Preschool Curriculum or KSPK and new methods of learning and teaching. Kindergarten teachers are expected to have a diploma in ECE.
The Archdiocesan Early Childhood Education Committee was formed on 1st July 2014 with recommendations by Archbishop Wong.
There are currently 12 kindergartens within the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu:
Tadika St Francis, KK; Tadika Shan Tao, KK (Chinese); Tadika Stella Maris, Tanjung Aru; Tadika Datuk Simon Fung, Likas; Tadika Good Shepherd, Menggatal (Chinese); Tadika St Peter’s, Telipok (Chinese); Tadika St Philip, Tamparuli (Chinese); Tadika St Theresa, Tuaran; Tadika St Joseph, Papar (Chinese); Tadika St Mary, Limbahau; Tadika St Peter, Kudat (Chinese) and Tadika St Anne, Labuan.
Advising and encouraging the building of new kindergartens especially in parishes where there is no kindergarten, is what the AECEC is pursuing these days.
At St Augustine’s Church, Kinarut, the AECEC briefed the new BOG and their teachers. Their permit application was submitted to the Education Department and the Department has checked the premise already. The permit has been approved and the Tadika opened in January 2015 with some 20 children to start with.
Jennifer said her team would be recruitment teachers with Form V and VI leavers for the DECE course for September 2015 intake. AECEC will identify kindergarten teachers eligible for the DECE course through the data of the teachers of each mission kindergarten collected during the visits.
In-house training for new Kindergarten teachers are also being done while Workshops on KSPK (National Standard Preschool Curriculum) for in-service kindergarten teachers are in the pipeline.
By October this year, there will be another in-house training for kindergarten teachers in preparation for 2016.
While on their tour of the existing kindergarten/tadika the AECEC were also queried on:
· Workshops on Children with special needs;
· Workshops on Management of kindergarten;
· Workshop on KSPK and on how to incorporate faith formation in the curriculum; and
· Workshops on how to make the kindergarten a more Christian/Catholic outlook.
For those who want more information on how to set up a Mission Tadika or Kindergarten as well as those interested in wanting to be early childhood educators, do contact Jennifer Anjek at 016-8380093, or email her at email@example.com, or Irene Chong at 016-8199008 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Let us preserve our kindergartens which are the only private schools where we have the best opportunity to pass on our Catholic faith to the young children who at these tender age of 4 to 6 years are very receptive and pure.”
Emeritus Archbishop John Lee said in his sermon (19.10.14): “There is a break-down of passing on the faith to children as catechism was not allowed unlike the white missionaries who came to evangelize in the schools.”
Aims and Objectives of the AECEC
· To inculcate our Catholic faith in the children as from very young;
· To oversee issues related to the existing and future mission kindergartens;
· To equip and support Head teachers and preschool teachers especially in spiritual formation, teaching skills and management of schools and to acquire professional training; and
· To ensure all mission kindergartens to have and use a standard Instrument of Government.
Plans and Strategies of the AECEC
· An Instrument of Government for Mission Kindergartens (Tadika) has been prepared and is readily available;
· To coordinate with the kindergartens to have a Board of Governors (BOG) based on the Instrument of Government;
· To ensure kindergarten teachers take up DECE courses as DECE certificate would be the minimum qualification by 2018;
· To maintain existing mission kindergartens and to set up new kindergartens wherever needed and possible;
· Preschool Teaching & Managing Skill courses with Faith Formation course for new teachers and graduates;
· To create appropriate Christian Preschool workbooks;
· To encourage/promote setting up of new kindergartens to cater for existing mission primary schools.
AECEC comprises of:
Advisor – Fr Jalius Sading
Chairlady – Jennifer Anjek (retired Executive Education Officer)
Secretary – Irene Chong (Early Childhood Educator & Trainer, former Head of Datuk Simon Fung’s Preschool)
Treasurer – Anne Wee (Senior Early Childhood Educator)
Ex-officio – Sr Rita Chew (AEC chairlady)
Member – Sr Dorothy Laudi (who looks after 7 preschools in Paitan and 1 in Sonsogon)
Member – June Liew (Senior Early Childhood Educator)
Member – Alison Creena Wong (Early Childhood Educator who operates 2 centres)
Member – Margaret Sunam (retired Teacher & Education Officer)
Member – Joseph Mojuntin Ebin (PPD, Education Officer & Special Unit)