SIF celebrates 10 years of Singapore-Myanmar collaboration with launch of Early Childhood Education Resource Book

25 Mar 2015

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar – The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and the Myanmar Department of Social Welfare (DSW) launched the Early Childhood Care & Development Resource Book today to commemorate their 10-year collaboration in the area of early childhood education. The resource book for preschool educators and personnel is published in both Myanmar and English languages and will be distributed for free to over 3,000 preschools across Upper and Lower Myanmar.

Launched in 2004, the SIF-DSW Early Childhood Care & Development Project is targeted at enabling knowledge sharing between both countries and collectively raising the professional standard of Myanmar’s early childhood education sector. A team of 14 early childhood educators and experts from Singapore conducted training programmes for 65 Myanmar preschool teachers and childcare personnel to equip and empower them with the knowledge and confidence to train their counterparts throughout Myanmar. Since the end of the Training-of-Trainers programme in 2006, the Myanmar trainers have gone on to train over 13,000 preschool teachers and parents of preschool children by cascading their knowledge in early childhood education and development.

Over 10 years, the project comprised training workshops, study visits to Singapore and a jointly-organised seminar on preschool education. SIF and DSW also strengthened infrastructure support, setting up two resource centres in Yangon to foster knowledge sharing and make available resources for preschool teachers to upgrade themselves professionally. The resource book compounds the knowledge shared during the programme, covering various aspects of early childhood education – including advice for engaging children and using low-cost teaching tools in the classroom, as well as guidelines for holistic development and engaging parents and the wider community.

Dr Khoo Kim Choo, pioneer in early childhood education in Singapore and lead trainer and Singapore volunteer, said, “The SIF’s Early Childhood Care & Development Project has been very effective in meeting the needs and culture of local communities, and sustainably enabling local educators to take ownership of and further expand their knowledge sharing in the sector. For 10 years, we have journeyed with our Myanmar friends and trainees, who have been very generous in sharing their culture and bringing their local know-how to the table, and are proud to see the project culminate in the launch of the resource book.”

Said Ms Margaret Thevarakom, Director of International Volunteerism at SIF: “This year marks the 20th anniversary of SIF’s collaboration with communities in Myanmar for a better world. The launch of the resource book is a culmination of more than a decade of close partnership between the Singapore International Foundation and Myanmar’s Department of Social Welfare, as well as educators and experts from both countries. Since 2004, the Early Childhood Care & Development project has bridged both our countries and built warm and enduring friendships through the sharing of knowledge, culture and working towards common goals.”

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