Mother Tongue modules added to pre-school teachers' training programme

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin (second from left) doing silkscreen printing with children at My First Skool at Blk 1 Haig Road on Sept 9, 2016.
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin (second from left) doing silkscreen printing with children at My First Skool at Blk 1 Haig Road on Sept 9, 2016. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
 Madam Siti Salmiah, (left) 53, principal of My First Skool at Blk 1 Haig Road, with Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on Sept 9, 2016.
Madam Siti Salmiah, (left) 53, principal of My First Skool at Blk 1 Haig Road, with Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on Sept 9, 2016. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Ms Nurulhuda Binte Rahmat, 29, who is from the first batch of teachers on the PDP, doing silkscreen printing with the children at My First Skool at Blk 1 Haig Road on Sept 9, 2016.
Ms Nurulhuda Binte Rahmat, 29, who is from the first batch of teachers on the PDP, doing silkscreen printing with the children at My First Skool at Blk 1 Haig Road on Sept 9, 2016. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Pre-school teachers going for the Professional Development Programme, which prepares them for bigger job roles, will now have 14 Mother Tongue language modules to choose from.

This will help "deepen their skills to support children's learning of the Mother Tongue languages", said the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).

The Professional Development Programme needs teachers to go through 180 hours of training over three years. It was announced by Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin in September last year. Since then, the inaugural batch of 138 preschool teachers were appointed in April.

The Mother Tongue language modules are 18 hours each and cover topics from Chinese phonetics, to Malay linguistics and Tamil literature and poetry.

A 60-hour module on visual arts has also been added, bumping up the number of modules from seven to 22.

More additions can be expected in future, said Mr Tan.

To participate in the programme, teachers need to be nominated by their employers, and only pre-school educators with at least three years' experience are eligible. Nominations for the second batch opened on Friday (Sept 9) and will close on Nov 11.

The Professional Development Programme puts teachers through courses run by universities and polytechnics, including a compulsory module in teacher and centre leadership, while they continue working.

Some modules can also count towards a specialised diploma, advanced diploma or a degree in Early Childhood Care and Education.

The ECDA also pays out $12,000 in cash awards to those who remain employed at the same workplace to attract talent in the sector and also help retain staff.