Preschool Education, the Government and Me

Dr Lee Wei Ling, Director of the National Neuroscience Institute (and daughter of MM Lee Kuan Yew) wrote an article in today’s papers advocating that government should find ways to support quality preschool education. Her views resonate with how I feel, captured in very small part here.

Some interesting points she makes:

“Two years of compulsory preschool education of guaranteed quality is worth more than four years of compulsory secondary education.”

“Without government support, the kindergartens themselves will not be able to provide the quality needed because the cost is high.”

“Better than the Progress Package, ComCare Fund, and the cost of the Gifted Education Programme (GEP), high-quality preschool education…should be the Government’s responsibility.”

All the same, I can’t help wondering if we are expecting too much of the government.  Rather than wait for it to act, for the budget to be allocated, for preschools to improve, maybe it is more fruitful to ask what each of us — the Pilgrim Parents and ultimate stewards of our children — should do. Perhaps we should seize the day, “insource” the kids more than we “outsource”, and take on a larger share of the responsibility ourselves in their preschool years.

As Dr Lee writes quoting the Jesuits, “Give me the child until he is seven, and I will give you the man.” Hear, hear.

One response to “Preschool Education, the Government and Me

  1. I am I writing in response to the quote: ‘Give me the child until he is seven, and I will give you the man’. Yes this is the famous Jesuit quote. The Jesuits believed that a person’s belief system is formed in infancy and that if an infant is brought up with Jesuit beliefs then the child becomes a confirmed Jesuit adult in future. Unfortunately this has often been used by some governments to brainwash children from young so that they are all conditioned to think, feel and behave according to the government’s set ideals which takes away the freedom to be creative and spontaneous as each child grows up. I believe every child has certain potential which must be nurtured and not curtailed. It is alright to allow parents to send their children to kindergarten but to make kindergarten education compulsory may not work for all children. This is because different children mature at different ages, and not every child will benefit from a structured kindergarten curriculum. Children should not be robbed of their childhood. If one child is able to cope with a certain task at a certain age, it does not mean all children of the same age will all be capable of it. We have to take into consideration the needs of every child and allow the child to blossom at their own pace.

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