One in in four pre-schools now Spark-certified

Preschoolers at Casa Montessori Internationale & Babies Inc participating in a lesson conducted by Om Shiva Yoga.
Preschoolers at Casa Montessori Internationale & Babies Inc participating in a lesson conducted by Om Shiva Yoga.ST PHOTO: DESMOND LUI

SINGAPORE- A total of 203 pre-schools were awarded the Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework (Spark) certificates on Friday, bringing the total number of Spark-certified centres to 431.

This means that one in four pre-schools here now have the certification.

For parents, Spark serves as a guide to identifying good quality pre-schools. It evaluates education programmes catering to four- to six-year-old children in kindergartens and childcare centres.

Also, 59 centres became the first to get the new Spark (Commendation) certification. The commendation category was announced last year and is meant to award pre-schools with the best teaching and learning practices.

Pre-schools which wish to obtain the commendation tag need to have outstanding classroom observation processes as well as monitor and facilitate children's play well, among other criteria.

Senior Minister of State for Education Indranee Rajah presented the certificates to the pre-schools at the Early Childhood Conference and Carnival held at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

She also launched the Nurturing Early Learners educators' guides for mother tongue languages at the event.

The guides are written in Chinese, Malay and Tamil and will provide lesson ideas and strategies to help early childhood educators better teach mother tongue languages.

"Bilingualism is a cornerstone of our education system and an important part of our cultural and national identity. It is our goal that the mother tongues will be living languages for our children," said Ms Indranee.

kxinghui@sph.com.sg