SINGAPORE: More experience-based activities will be implemented in some 6,000 Sparkletots from the Community Foundation of the PCP (PCF) during the upcoming school holidays.
Field trips are part of efforts to increase learning beyond the classroom – an important focus on the PCF curriculum.
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Programs will include visits to KidZania, where children can try different jobs and get financial literacy, and the SEA Aquarium where they can learn about marine life and marine ecosystems.
In the following years, the initiative will expand to all 360 PCF preschools, of which about 43,000 students participate.
Labor Minister and Chair of the PCF Executive Committee, Josephine Teo, announced the initiative on Monday (November 5) at the Bee Amazed Garden, where 60 pre-school children learned about bees' behavior through games and role-plays.
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"Most Sparkletot PCF centers are located within the Housing & Development Board (HDB) properties, the vast majority of which have access to playgrounds and community gardens are also part of their learning curriculum.
"But we think there is room to go beyond that. We particularly want to let kids have more outdoor exposure," said Teo.
The initiative is also part of efforts to ensure that more children have access to equal learning opportunities.
PCF SparkFots is currently the largest preschool operator in Singapore. He recently announced that he has set aside $ 20 million for the development of his teachers over the next three years.
"It's always about raising all the kids and ensuring that whatever the starting line, they will have the opportunity to have the richest and most extensive learning experience," added Ms. Teo.
"The world is a big place. As soon as possible, we want to expose our children to a wider world, develop their sense of curiosity, encourage them to ask questions, read and have diverse interests."
Ms. Teo said, however, that efforts can not be punctual and must be consistent.
STRUCTURED LEARNING PROGRAMS
In addition to outdoor activities, there will also be more structured learning programs offered to PCF Sparkletots children at subsidized prices in areas such as speech and drama, sports, IT literacy, and social etiquette.
PCF CEO Victor Bay said these 21st century skills need to be developed while still young, and the program will be offered at a price of about $ 3 to $ 6 to cover costs such as transportation.
"This program is very important and we want to make sure it is available to as many children as possible, so we are keeping costs down," Bay said.
Parents NewsAsia said it was no longer necessary to send their children to enrichment programs other than those offered by PCF Sparkletots.
Janelle Kok, 31, a mother of two, said: "Such a program is good and sufficient, but it will be good if there are more programs that teach children to be more environmentally friendly."
Norhafiza Jamil, 38, said she had seen positive changes in her five-year-old daughter after attending kindergarten-planned outdoor activities and wanted her two other young children to follow in her sister's footsteps.
"My son is much more involved now. And because she wants to know more than the classroom, she asks me to go to the library with her to learn more. "