HELP pre­pares qual­i­fied car­ers and ed­u­ca­tors

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Education Guide -

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).

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