Methodist Pilley Institute (MPI) & National Early Childhood Intervention Council (NECIC) have jointly organized Inclusive Preschool Short Course from 27 to 31 May 2019. The course, which was conducted by two experienced special and inclusive education teachers – Ms Chew Siok Cheng and Ms Ng Lai Thin, has been attended by 26 participants, who are currently working as childcare providers at the kindergartens, teachers at secondary schools, childcare providers at other institutions in Sibu, Sarikei, Bintulu, Mukah, Sri Aman and Kuching.
The course aimed to pilot the Inclusive Education Training Module developed by NECIC, to develop an inclusive mindset in preschool teachers, to provide preschool teachers with evidence-based and practical knowledge of inclusive preschooling and to develop reflective practice in preschool teachers.
Dr Toh Teck Hock, Vice President of NECIC has commented that this first batch of participants as pioneers in Inclusive Education. Dr Toh compared the significance of preschool and inclusive education to the building of strong foundation for a building, though often left unnoticed, but its impact to the life of a person is profound and long lasting. Mr Hii King Kai, Principal of Methodist Pilley Institute has highlighted the greater needs of trained teachers in inclusive education for children with disabilities, as there may be more children with disabilities among us, who have not yet been diagnosed. In future, MPI will incorporate the inclusive education in the diploma in early childhood education programme syllabus, so every ECE students will learn the practical knowledge and skills in dealing with children with disabilities.
Interest in Inclusive Education has increased in recent years in Malaysia. There is a huge gap in teacher training and professional development. Methodist Pilley Institute and NECIC hope to fill the gap by organizing more short courses on inclusive education, so to better prepare early childhood education teachers to cope with the needs of children with disabilities in their classrooms.
Provided by MPI, Sibu