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.