While we are a multi-cultural country, how many of us can say that we are fluent in languages other than English and our mother tongue?
Most of us tend to seek extra classes as adults in order to learn more languages but that might change soon with the implementation of language classes for Mandarin, Tamil, Iban and Kadazan in preschools.
National unity minister, Halimah Sadique told the Dewan Rakyat that Tabika Perpaduan preschools will be adding new programmes into early childhood education in order to foster unity among children.
It’s no secret that Malaysia prides itself on our diversity of cultures and races so it’s a great step in the right direction for our education system to reflect that pride.
Other than the teaching of aforementioned languages, the programmes will also include a Rukun Negara module, inculcation of unity and good values and a module for children to be more independent.
This new direction will not only focus on students but the teachers as well since the ministry will be looking into improving the quality and professionalism of teachers to ensure that their goals will be achieved.
Teachers should at least have a diploma in early childhood education and at the moment, 1,574 of 1,781 educators in Tabika Perpaduan possess this certification.
The remaining teachers will be sent for courses at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris.
Appreciation for one another’s culture will run deeper when we’re able to communicate in each other’s mother tongue. When better to plant this seed of unity than during childhood?