HELP prepares qualified carers and educators
EARLY childhood education lays the foundation for the future potential development of the child.
As the young child makes sense of the ever-changing surroundings, HELP’s qualified educators and carers facilitate the discovery through the provision of new learning experiences.
The Department of Education at HELP University conducts two Early Childhood Education (ECE) programmes: Diploma in ECE (DECE) and Bachelor of ECE (BECE).
In the recent HELP CAT Sixth Convocation, the first cohort of 52 DECE students graduated, of whom 28 are Sabahans.
Implicit in early childhood education is the provision of care, which is the essence of HELP’s ECE programmes for the educator-carer who will acquire knowledge and understanding, skills and strategies, attitudes and values through subjects taught by ECE’s team of highly qualified professors and lecturers.
Most of the lecturers are equipped with education masters and doctorates.
High-impact research projects
The ECE Team is also involved in several high-impact research projects on early English literacy, teaching competencies like teacher-led interaction and act-on experiential activities, professional development and career path of educators and carers.
The research that the ECE team is doing supports the development of DECE and BECE programmes.
The DECE is a 30-month programme that equips students with the needed skills and resources to begin their careers in the early childhood education field.
Besides lectures and tutorials, classes are conducted in the learning laboratory, empirical studies are carried out with children and fieldwork is pursued in places of interest, such as the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC), Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Botanical Gardens and more.
These enable students to understand the importance of experiential engagement.
The DECE also offers many subjects that aim to improve students’ acquisition of English, master arts, music and drama that are essential for working with young children.
HELP’s Diploma in ECE includes an eight-week nursery and kindergarten practicum. DECE graduates qualify for second-year admission to the BECE (Hons) programme at HELP.
The BECE programme is a three-year study where all lessons are experiential in scope with classroom and preschool centre practicum.
The programme covers the development of the child from birth to junior primary in a wide range of settings.
The integration of good practice with educational principles underpins HELP’s ECE programme.
BECE students are given hands-on experience through two teaching practices for eight weeks in a nursery and another eight in a kindergarten. This enables the students to gain experience in an Early Childhood Care and Education setting and to put to practice their learnt skills.
All students on the 16-week practicum are offered employment.
Several are absorbed immediately into international schools.
In an effort to connect with the community, an initiative began in 2011 with its first cohort of students called the BECE Students Club.
They organised three annual events for the community, maintain the Library of the HELP Education Department and participate in Orang Asli Study Camps.
These activities and events provide informal learning experiences for the BECE students.
It also enriches their education by encouraging them to assume leadership roles and take ownership of their commitment to community service.
Through practical experience, HELP’s ECE programmes develop professional and employable graduates who receive career opportunities beyond nurseries, kindergartens, schools and other institutions of learning.
This includes hospitality and recreation, games and toys manufacture, learning material and resources development.
Graduates will also play several roles such as a care-provider and parents’ partner parents.
HELP DECE and BECE Programmes have three intakes each year in January, May and August.
■ For details on HELP University’s Department of Education, log on to www.helpcat.edu.my or call 03-2716 2000.
The 28 Diploma in ECE graduates with the Faculty of Education and Languages dean of HELP University Prof Dr Frances Lee (middle row, seventh from the right), and CEO of HELP Group Datin Chan-Low Kam Yoke (front row, centre).