Sabah First Ever International Early Childhood Conference. Print
Sunday, 03 September 2017 03:27

Sabah Kindergarten Association, Persatuan Perkhidmatan Taska Sabah, Sabah Chinese Kindergarten Boards Association (SCKBA) together with SIDMA College (UNITAR SABAH), Sabah Foundation, PACOS Trust, Sabah Institute of Art and Archdiocesan Early Childhood Education Committee (AECEC) collaborated and co-organised the Sabah first ever International Early Childhood Conference from 28-29 August 2017 at Klagan Hotel, Warisan Square, Kota Kinabalu.

The event served as a platform for participants from an earlier international forum, “The Asia-Pacific Policy Forum on Early Childhood and Childcare Education (ECCE)” 2016 held in Putrajaya to share and multiply their findings, knowledge, experience and skills gained for the benefits of other regional ECCE teachers particularly for the benefit of Sabah and Sarawak ECCE educators.

Adopting the theme “Towards Quality Early Childhood Education”, the main focus of the event was to expose fresh and latest insights on some of the best practices for teaching and learning into the mind these ECCE teachers. Through such effort it is hope that the quality and professionalism of local ECCE educators can be upgraded to a greater level. The programme also enhance ECCE teachers’ network and get themselves connected with the wider early childhood community both locally and worldwide.

The Organising Committee under the dynamic chairperson of Datin Rahimah Quadra managed to bring in various international keynote speakers such as Madam Nathalie Nehma who is currently a lecturer at Victoria University, Australia since 2004. She has over 25 years of teaching experience in primary and kindergarten levels and also working experience with hearing impaired children. She presented her keynote paper entitled: “Towards Quality Early Childhood Education: A Global Perspective”.

Second keynote speaker, Madam Melody Stuckey from New Zealand, a lecturer in Early Childhood Education for the past 10 years and has conducted various action research in the field of leadership development as well as passion for educationist to provide inspiring learning environments for young children. In her keynote address she touched on: “Creating and maintaining effective and conducive learning environments”.

Another keynote speaker is Charmaine Teo, who established ”Between Two Trees Preschool”, and is  the current Vice President from Association for Early Childhood Educators, Singapore, and owner of an early learning school that employs more than 20 staff and serves a total of 100 families in Singapore. She has shared her keynote address that focused on “The Reggio Emilia Approach on Preschool and Primary Education”

The committee also invited the following parallel workshop speakers. They are:

  1. Madam Noorjahan Sultan (Educational Technology Officer) from Pahang that has won Malaysia Teacher Icon 2016,Hyacinth Gaudart Award 2016 and well known as the pioneer for language learning method based on rhyming and was shortlisted as  the finalist from 8000 teachers around the world for Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2016.
  2. Madam Koh Hui Hua (an art therapist and classroom teacher who is fully involved with curriculum development in the B2T Method, together with Madam  Charmaine Teo; for the past 8 years.
  3. Mr Ng Kok Keong, (Kuala Lumpur; who possess storytelling abilities in Mandarin, English and Bahasa Malaysia; that has brought him all over Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, India, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan),
  4. Mr Mochamad Ariyo Faridh Zidni (also known  “Kak Aio” from Indonesia, a writer, storytelling coach and the Director of Indonesia International Storytelling Festival).
  5. Madam Belinda Ng (an early childhood teacher from Singapore who has been actively involved in conducting various training and mentoring programmes for ECE practitioners.
  6. Madam Sun Man Li (from the Artist Association of Shen Zen and the Teenager & Art Education of China).
  7. Madam Zaiton Bakri (Group Manager from Pusat Kraftangan Sabah)

During the parallel workshops the following modules were exposed and facilitated:

  1. Fostering Language Through Rhyme,
  2. Connecting With Children: Conversations through Art.
  3. An Effective Self-Auditing Tool To Improve Early Years Environment
  4. Art and Craft.
  5. The Art of Storytelling.
  6. H.O.T.S. In Children’s Play
  7. Designing A Learning Environment In Promoting Quality Education
  8. Hands On Science
  9. Creativity And Innovation In Teaching
  10. An Experience With Batik
  11. Between Two Trees Preschool-What Project Learning Looks Like In a Singapore Preschool.

The international event which was officiated by Honourable Mr Mohamad Noor Wahab, the Director of the Welfare Department, on behalf of the Guest of Honour, the Honourable Datuk Hajah Jainab Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Ahmad Ayid, Minister of Community Development and Consumer Affairs, Sabah. It was attended by more than 250 participants of which majority are ECCE educators from Sabah, Sarawak, and various states in Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and more.

The eight ECCE educators from SIDMA College headed by Madam Soinim @ Sulin Binti Musa, Head of Early Childhood Studies, expressed their thanks and appreciation to Dr Morni Hj Kambrie (Founder and Chairman, SIDMA College) for sponsoring them to attend the first ever international event on ECCE in Sabah, and they will try to cascade the information gained to other lecturers who were not given the opportunity to attend such convention. She hoped that such event will be established as an annual event that not only can promote

For information on Early Childhood Education courses offered at SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah, please call 088-732 000 or 088-732 020 or visit our website at www.sidma.edu.my


By Teo Eng Seng and Zain Azrai Bin Mohd Noor,

SIDMA College UNITAR Sabah,


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