Friday, March 22, 2013

Don't forget aim of state-run kindergartens

Mar 23, 2013
THE main reason for setting up government-run kindergartens in the heartland is to ensure that children from disadvantaged families possess the necessary literacy and numeracy skills when they start primary education ("Parents fear rush for MOE kindergartens"; March 15).

It is therefore surprising for people to object to others sending their children to privately run kindergartens, and insist on nationalising pre-schools, claiming that this allows children to enter primary school on an equal footing ("Do more for pre-school sector, Govt urged"; March 6).

While we provide assistance to the disadvantaged groups, we should not deter those capable of taking care of themselves from being independent.

In fact, the home is the best kindergarten, and parents the best pre-school teachers. Wise parents do not send their children to expensive kindergartens; they send them to kindergartens nearby so that their children can learn socially acceptable behaviour in a conducive environment.

It amazes me to read that parents who can afford to drive their children from one class to another plan to register their children in the upcoming state-run kindergartens, because they think such kindergartens will have the best teaching methods.

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available and balloting ensues, won't some children from disadvantaged families be left out? Won't this defeat the purpose of having state-run kindergartens?

The misconception of the rationale for setting up these kindergartens is causing undesirable results. Shouldn't the aim be made clear to prevent further problems?

Yeo Boon Eng (Ms)

[This is a reasonable letter and I am not going to bash the points in the letter because it is a reasonable position.

I'm just including this letter because it gives ME a chance to present my "conspiracy theory".

Well, not exactly a "conspiracy".

Question: Before there were state-run kindergartens, where do low income and middle class parents send their pre-school kids?

Answer: PCF kindergarten. What is PCF? Poor Children's Fund?  No, it's the PAP Community Foundation.

For whatever reasons (i don't know, just speculating here), whether enrollment has fallen, difficulty in setting up PCF kindergartens in Aljunied, Hougang, and Punggol East, or PAP just deciding it has borne this burden long enough, the State will now provide what PCF had for over 40 years provided. ]

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