SINGAPORE - Principals and other educators of PAP Community Foundation (PCF) Sparkletots centres will be going for more training in curriculum development over the next few years, in PCF's first tie-up with the National Institute of Education (NIE).
More than 400 centre leaders and curriculum specialists from PCF Sparkletots will attend a four-month programme in early childhood curriculum leadership to deepen their expertise in designing and implementing changes in curriculum.
The programme, conducted by NIE and sponsored by PCF, will start in February next year and run for three years.
Participants will take six courses, as well as complete a group project where they redesign an aspect of a centre's curriculum.
The collaboration comes as Singapore seeks to carve out more opportunities for pre-school educators to upgrade themselves.
PCF is Singapore's largest pre-school operator with some 360 centres and an enrolment of more than 40,000 children.
PCF chief executive Victor Bay and NIE director Christine Goh signed an agreement to launch the Certificate in Early Childhood Curriculum Leadership at a virtual ceremony on Monday (Sept 7).
In a speech on Monday, Mr Bay said that PCF is investing more than half a million dollars in this certificate programme, which is part of its plans for teachers' professional development.
"The development of a quality curriculum is necessary for any pre-school. As the world is constantly progressing, the curriculum should be reviewed and revised on a regular basis, so that it is able to serve the changing needs of both the children and society," he added.
"We need to ensure that the very people who are involved in children's learning and development are equipped with the right skills and capabilities."
Professor Goh said that the course will give educators the chance to discuss and consider theories related to curriculum leadership.
"You will also engage in reflective practice - a practice that will enable you to question your own assumptions and your beliefs," she added.
Ms Noriyaton Yunos, centre leader of a PCF Sparkletots pre-school in Pasir Ris West, said the new NIE programme will go some way in equipping centre leaders like herself to guide and support teachers, so that children's needs are met.