High-quality early childhood education for all children by 2030, says Sarawak minister

BINTULU, Jan 9 ― Sarawak aims to provide all children with high-quality early childhood education by 2030, according to Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

For the record, she said Sarawak has a total of 3,033 early childhood education institutions (IPAKK) as of December 27, 2023 consisting of 2,801 tadika (kindergartens) and 232 taska (nurseries).

“Through the cooperation of all agencies, Sarawak has reached 98.71 per cent of Year 1 children in the 2023/2024 session who have attended preschool and kindergarten education.

“This is a proud achievement because this percentage has surpassed the national-level achievement of 88.81 per cent,” she said during her working visit to Taska Permata Kasih, Taman Li Hua Bintulu yesterday.

Fatimah emphasised that each child in Sarawak will have access to high quality early education which starts at the taska and tadika.

She said these registered preschools are the safest place for the children as they are staffed with well-trained educators and caregivers and conducive for learning, where safety level is high.

In order to realise the target to have continuous access to early childhood education in Sarawak, she said seven new tadika and four taska will start operating this year.

“One of the things that we want to establish this year is to provide a support group that will help teachers to manage children with special needs,” she added.

Fatimah also said this year her ministry will also emphasise on experiential learning at IPAKK, where children are exposed to real-life experiences through outdoor activities such as visits and so on.

To realise this objective, she said a special annual grant (GTK) has been set aside in 2024 for the purpose.

According to her, the GTK is an initiative to help registered IPAKK operators improve the quality of childcare services, guidance and early childhood education.

“For the year 2024, the government has allocated RM14.0 million for this purpose, for fun learning, healthy and balanced nutrition, continuous professional development programmes for educators and caregivers, programmes that involve parents as well as visits and experiential learning activities.

During the event, Fatimah handed over a financial grant to Persatuan Pengasuh dan Pendidik Awal Kanak-kanak Bintulu (PAKB). ― Borneo Post



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