Singapore: ducation Ministry to lay strong language foundation for preschoolers

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sat May 20 16:47:31 UTC 2006

Forwarded from

Education Ministry to lay strong language foundation for preschoolers: Tharman
19 May 2006 2251 hrs (SST)

Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has outlined his ministry's
plans to lay a strong language foundation for preschoolers. Speaking at
the 20th anniversary celebrations of the PAP Community Foundation, he said
his ministry would identify children from low-income families who might
need help to attend pre-school and offer learning support for
preschoolers. The Ministry will be working with several agencies including
the Dyslexia Association and National Library Board to launch a project in
10 PCF kindergartens.

This is one aspect of Project SEAL or "Sustained Early Assistance for
Learning, which aims to provide holistic assistance to pre-schoolers. Mr
Tharman said: "We want to do better to help children from less advantaged
homes. At Primary One each year, we find children who are not ready for
school. They do not understand what their teachers are saying to them in
English, and they cannot reply in English. Some do not know the letters of
the alphabet. "This is a painstaking process of reaching out to families,
involving many helping hands. But it is well worth the effort. It will
greatly help these children come up to the mark when they enter school and
grow into confident students as they grow through their primary school
years." - CNA/ch

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