Welcome Remarks By Mr Jaryll Chan, SIF Division Director, Programmes, At The Launch Of The Early Childhood Education Project, At The Indonesian Teachers Association (PGRI) Building In Bandung, Indonesia

Dr Edi Parmadi, Head, West Java Chapter, Indonesian Teachers Association (PGRI),
Ms Renni Kusnaeni, Chairperson, Indonesian Kindergarten Teachers’ Association (IGTKI), West Java Chapter,
Singapore International Volunteer (SIV) and Associate Professor Sirene May-Yin Lim, Academic Lead, Early Childhood Education Programme, S R Nathan School of Human Development, Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS),
Distinguished Guests,
Partners and Friends,

Selamat pagi (good morning)! Thank you for joining us at the launch of the Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) Early Childhood Education Project in West Java. This launch marks the SIF’s first early childhood education, or ECE, initiative in Indonesia.

The SIF, together with our partners in Singapore and Indonesia, strongly believes in the value of early childhood education. As it is often said, our children hold the future of the world in their hands. There are many compelling reasons for countries to invest in their children’s early development, from strengthening people’s innate capabilities, reducing poverty, to ensuring the prosperity of society.

We have our work cut out for us. The World Health Organisation said in 2016 that an estimated 250 million children across the world may not reach their fullest potential. The United Nations Children Fund, or UNICEF, also noted in 2019 that global progress in ECE has been slow and uneven. I am thus heartened to see our two countries – Singapore and Indonesia – come together to tackle this pressing global concern. The SIF believes that the sharing of ideas, skills and experiences enables us to uplift lives and create greater understanding between world communities. This ECE project signifies Singapore and Indonesia’s shared commitment to work together for a better world. It also builds on the learnings from the SIF’s previous ECE initiatives in Myanmar and India, of which the Myanmar project ran for 10 years. It goes without saying that we are excited to embark on this collaboration with our friends from Indonesia.

Over the course of the next two years, a team of Singapore International Volunteers (SIV) comprising faculty members from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) will train 50 Indonesian ECE practitioners as master trainers. Together, they will share their knowledge, skills, and best-practices of ECE from their respective countries through various components, including training workshops and the development of a resource repository. I am pleased to note that the project’s impact is not limited to the training period – an additional 250 ECE practitioners from West Java will receive training from the core group of 50 master trainers. By 2021, this project is expected to benefit at least 9,000 members of the Indonesian community, including students, teachers, parents, and caregivers.

This project would not have been possible without the steadfast support of our partners and friends. To the West Java Education Office and the Indonesian Teachers Association, thank you for your hospitality in hosting us. To the Indonesian Kindergarten Teachers’ Association and its West Java Chapter, thank you for believing in the work of the SIF and the endless support you have shown. I would also like to convey my gratitude to our team of SIVs, who generously share their time and talents to contribute to this meaningful cause.

The SIF and Indonesia share a warm and enduring friendship dating back to 1992. Since then, our communities have come together to collaborate on over 100 initiatives. As this latest project shows, the “gotong royong” spirit between our peoples has certainly stood the test of time. Terima Kasih or thank you to everyone for your continued hand in friendship. May you all have an enriching day ahead!

 

 

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