Polytechnics offer more places for early childhood education diplomas

NP Child Psychology and Early Education student Eden Yeong, 19, playing a game of word dice with children at the MOE Kindergarten at Dazhong Primary.
NP Child Psychology and Early Education student Eden Yeong, 19, playing a game of word dice with children at the MOE Kindergarten at Dazhong Primary.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - There will be more places for those who want diplomas in early childhood education this year, Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and Temasek Polytechnic (TP) said on Wednesday (Jan 13).

The two polytechnics will be increasing the total intake for their full-time diploma courses in the field from 380 to 675 places for the next academic year, which starts in April.

NP will offer 220 places for its diploma in early childhood education, 260 places for the diploma in child psychology and early education, and 20 places for the Chinese early childhood teaching track under its diploma in Chinese studies. TP will offer 175 places for its diploma in early childhood studies.

This is to meet "the rapid expansion of the early childhood education sector and increased demand for trained pre-school teachers in Singapore", the two polytechnics said in a joint media release.

Besides increasing their intakes, both said they are enhancing their programmes. NP will introduce two specialisation tracks under the early childhood education diploma - teaching literacy skills and using innovative pedagogies - as well as a two-week overseas exposure programme for second- and third-year students.

"Together with enhanced internships that provide longer duration and more structured mentorship, these curriculum changes aim to deepen students' skills and knowledge so that they are better prepared for their career as pre-school educators," said Dr Lucy Quek, deputy director of NP's School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

TP's Preschool Learning Academy (Play) - a laboratory pre-school where students can observe and practise teaching - has been expanded to offer both kindergarten and childcare services. Students will have their contact hours with the pre-school increased from about 10 to 60 in their curriculum for the first two years of their course.

"The enhanced authentic learning experiences at Play and the enhanced internship, which all our early Early Childhood Studies students will have to go through in their final year of study, will better prepare our students for their future workplaces," said TP's Centre for Child Study director Ang Teck Hua.

Fresh O-level graduates can apply for the diploma programmes through the Joint Admissions Exercise and the Joint Polytechnic Special Admissions Exercise. Students accepted into the courses can apply for an Early Childhood Development Agency training award of up to $40,000, which sponsors course fees and a monthly study allowance of $800.