Thursday, August 28, 2008

The ideal teacher

From TODAY, Voices
Wednesday August 27, 2008

Govt should encourage stay-at-home mums to be childcare teachers

Letter from Yeo Eng Wah

WITH the Government’s plan to build more childcare centres, more teachers will be needed.

I hope the Government can tie this plan with that of encouraging more stay-at-home mothers (SAHMs) to go to work.

My child has been through a couple of childcare centres over the past few years and I must say the standard of teaching at childcare centres varies widely.

Some teachers lack communication and language skills, others speak Singlish to the children and are unable to write proper, grammatical English.

I suggest that the Government offer grants or scholarships to SAHMs who wish to rejoin the workforce as childcare or preschool teachers.

The Government has programmes to train and upgrade lower-educated SAHMs to help them find jobs.

SAHMs from the more highly-educated group (A-level, diploma and degree holders) seem to be a forgotten lot. Using their own money to upgrade themselves is expensive and risky as there is no guarantee that these mums will find jobs later.

SAHMs are ideal candidates to work in childcare centres. They have fussed over their own children long enough to know what children need and what parents are concerned about.

Some young pre-school teachers do not understand parents’ anxieties and concerns as they have not had any first-hand experience as a mum. They would benefit by learning from colleagues who are experienced parents.

Thus, I strongly believe that a scheme for training SAHMs to become preschool teachers would lead to a win-win situation for all those involved.

With everyone happier, would we not have a better birth rate?
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