SINGAPORE: A total of 14 new Mother Tongue language modules will be added to the Early Childhood Development Agency's (ECDA) Professional Development Programme, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin announced on Friday (Sep 9).
The Professional Development Programme refers to a three-year course to prepare preschool teachers for more responsibilities at the workplace.
"The strengthening of Mother Tongue is important because we know the foundation years for language is key," said Mr Tan, during his visit to a preschool along Haig Road.
He also mentioned that the ministry is looking to increase the number of courses available over time, though no specific areas of focus were highlighted. "What we want is to offer choices so teachers can also look at what are the different areas they can strengthen their competencies in," he added.
Nominations for the second intake of the programme will also open on Friday (Sept 9). The inaugural batch included 138 teachers and Mr Tan said while the reception to the programme has been positive, he hopes more teachers and preschools can step forward.
He noted that some challenges for preschools include having to set aside time for the teachers to take part in the programme.
"Some feel that having the teachers go away for 180 hours for three years is a big commitment. It is, but the payoffs are quite tremendous because the teachers come back with a new set of competencies," Mr Tan said.