MOE-run pre-schools' first batch heads to P1

Tan Yi Hang (centre), six, handing a box of rojak to his mother at the graduation ceremony in Punggol View Primary School. About 100 children, their parents and teachers gathered to celebrate the completion of their pre-school education.
Tan Yi Hang (centre), six, handing a box of rojak to his mother at the graduation ceremony in Punggol View Primary School. About 100 children, their parents and teachers gathered to celebrate the completion of their pre-school education.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The five kindergartens run by the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be tracking their first batch of 267 children, who are moving on to Primary 1 next year.

Acting Minister for Education Ng Chee Meng said yesterday the ministry would work with primary schools to support the children as they enter the next phase of their education, though he did not specify the nature of the support.

"MOE will take a longitudinal look at how they develop and, in good time, we'll look at how we can proliferate these methods of learning," he said.

As well as being tracked by the ministry, pupils from the centres will be a part of an ongoing National Institute of Education study of children's development as they progress from kindergarten to primary school.

Mr Ng was speaking at one of the kindergartens, located in Punggol View Primary School, where about 100 children, together with their parents and teachers, gathered to celebrate the completion of pre-school.

MOE had said in 2013 that it would set up 15 centres over three years, starting with five last year, to raise pre-school standards here.

The centres are meant to pilot innovative teaching methods and share them with the pre-school sector. These include focusing on letting children learn through play, and placing strong emphasis on bilingualism.

Next year, the 15 centres, in areas such as Punggol and Tampines, will take in some 920 Kindergarten 1 children. In response to queries, MOE said it would consider opening more centres in future.

Mr Leong Kin Hoong said he did not feel that his son, who attended the MOE kindergarten in Punggol View this year, was treated like a "guinea pig".

"Being in the pioneer batch means there are a lot of resources being invested," said the 51-year- old minibus business owner.

"My son learnt art and craft and had hands-on activities, more than just spelling and writing."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline 'MOE-run pre-schools' first batch heads to P1'. Print Edition | Subscribe