By Kavitha Soundararajan, Lecturer, School of Education, MPU & Language
“Our children are the rock on which our future will be built,” said Nelson Mandela. The world will always have emerging people who will advance society; therefore, it is crucial that they be guided, nurtured, and developed holistically. To achieve this, children need to be equipped with lifelong learning skills through adequate learning materials, a safe environment for them to learn, and most importantly, highly trained teachers.
Malaysia recognises the need for quality education to develop potential individuals to meet national aspirations, hence the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 has indicated that every preschool has to follow a set of national quality standards including the provision that every preschool teacher has at least a Diploma qualification. SEGi Group of Colleges steps up to this call as a trusted provider of Early Childhood Education (ECCE) programmes, producing thousands of qualified ECCE educators and practitioners. The Diploma in Early Childhood Education aims to prepare learners to meet the demands and challenges of a teaching profession at nursery and preschool levels in both public and private settings.
The programme is structured to enable learners to acquire competencies in identifying teaching and learning approaches for young children and to train them to be reflectively and professionally engaged in teaching-learning processes and experiences, curriculum planning, and management aspects. With the vision to place quality education within the reach of willing minds and natural talents, SEGi applies teaching and learning methods suitable for 21st-century learners using hybrid teaching. Students are exposed to real-life experiences with field visits and webinars with experienced, professional experts from the industry.
“The programme is delivered in a versatile manner where students learn the subjects in interactive and hands-on learning. Students are also exposed to a myriad of key issues that are relevant to the future planning of ECCE in the country,” said, Ms Kavitha Soundararajan, Lecturer and Programme Leader at SEGi College, Kuala Lumpur.
The SEGi Diploma includes subjects such as Montessori Methods and Practices, which will give the students opportunities to enter both Montessori Schools and regular schools. SEGi also offers the Montessori Apparatus Workshop and Integrating Montessori Practice (IMP) aimed at empowering learners with the theory and practice of the Montessori approach. SEGi also empowers the students by offering the Paediatric First Aid Certification Course provided by certified Trainers.
The Diploma programme is offered both full-time and part-time where classes are delivered over the weekend, making learning easy for working adults. SEGi works hand-in-hand with advisors from childcare centres and preschools to improve the quality of its ECCE programmes while supporting our students’ learning experience. With strong links to more than 100 local and international ECCE agencies, students gain easy access to internships and employment opportunities.
“Students undergo two internships during their study, and the schools they go to will appreciate their commitment and hard work. Most schools even offer jobs to our students at the end of their internships. Field trips are also organised to increase students’ confidence further when they enter the industry,” Kavitha said.
SEGi has partnered with some renowned education institutions, including The Children’s House, Beaconhouse, Eduwis, Mayter Kindergarten, and Q-dees. A fulfilling career in ECCE awaits students upon graduation with career options such as kindergarten teacher, preschool teacher, private or international schoolteacher, ECCE lecturer, and even becoming a preschool or kindergarten owner or principal, curriculum developer, and educational toy consultant. “One of our alumnae, Ms Mandy Tan Siok Luoi from Cohort 17, is now a principal at Eduwis and has won several awards throughout her career in ECCE,” Kavitha said.
Most graduates choose to work after graduation but many go on to pursue their Bachelor’s degree. The BA (Hons) in Early Years Education 3+0 with the University of Greenwich, UK, offers students the opportunity to reflect on the core values of the early years’ workforce, review practice and policy, and learn the importance of encouraging children’s total development in partnership with their families. The programmes offered at SEGi are based on the Malaysian Qualifications Agency’s standards (MQA) and are regularly reviewed to keep them relevant and to maintain their quality.
Apart from ECCE, SEGi also offers other specialisation fields linked to the teaching profession, such as Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), Special Needs Education and Counselling where students can further their studies in this field at the graduate level.