KUALA LUMPUR: In a move to enhance the quality of private early childcare and education centres, all preschool teachers will be required to have at least a diploma.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said at present 93 per cent of preschool teachers did not possess any formal teacher training certification.
"The government, through its education transformation programme, is working towards enhancing the quality of childcare education.
"The lack of qualified teachers can be mitigated if childcare and preschool teachers, especially in the private sector, are exposed to enough training," he said after the launch of Early Childhood Development College's (ECDC) new campus in Damansara Damai here yesterday.
The ECDC campus will be able to house 1,600 students at one time.
Khaled said the ministry would aim for all preschool teachers to have compulsory training to enhance their knowledge and skills by 2020.
In 2010, under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), 6,580 private preschool teachers were trained by private training centres for three weeks.
Last year, 6,421 preschool teachers were trained and this year, another 6,999 will be trained by the government and the private sector.
Khaled said the training would not only be for those who were new in the industry but also for in-service teachers who had not received any formal training.
The Education Ministry, last August, came up with a set of standards for kindergarten and nursery staff to raise the country's preschool education to world standard.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the education minister, had said the ministry was creating a mechanism to put all these standards in place.
With this, parents would be assured that teachers and caregivers were equipped with training, knowledge and skills to provide quality education and care.
Khaled said that all preschool and childcare centres should have teachers who were committed, competent, experienced and properly certified.
"I believe with the improved infrastructure and conducive environment, this college will be able to fulfil market demand."
He added that private learning institutions should play their part in creating quality human capital.
"Colleges like ECDC are able to create educators who are competent and possess good characteristics.
"This will fulfil the objective of preschools and childcare centres which is to build human capital that will be the backbone of the country in the future."
At the event, ECDC signed a memorandum of understanding with the Selangor Youth Council to attract youths to pursue their studies in early childhood education.