SINGAPORE - More places will be offered to those who want to take up full-time courses in early childhood education at two polytechnics here in order to meet increased demand for trained preschool teachers.
In a joint press release issued on Wednesday (Jan 13), Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and Temasek Polytechnic (TP) announced that both institutions will increase the intake from a combined total of 380 to 675 places in the new academic year which starts in April. This is a 77 per cent increase in total intake places.
NP will offer 220 places for the Diploma in Early Childhood Education, 260 places for the Diploma in Child Psychology & Early Education, and 20 places for the Chinese Early Childhood Teaching Track under the Diploma in Chinese Studies. TP will offer 175 places for Diploma in Early Childhood Studies.
To add to this, both polytechnics announced enhancements to their programmes. NP is introducing two specialisation tracks under the early childhood education diploma and a global education trip programme for second and third-year students.
Dr Lucy Quek, deputy director for NP's School of Humanities & Social Sciences, said: "Together with enhanced internships that provide longer duration and more structured mentorship, these curriculum changes aim to deepen students' skills and knowledge, so that they are better prepared for their career as preschool educators.
"After a few years of teaching experience, they may then be nominated by their preschools for Continuing Education Programmes such as the Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Leadership, so that they can progress to become leaders of their preschools."
TP said it will expand its preschool laboratory aptly called Play (Preschool Learning Academy) in order to offer both kindergarten and childcare services.
Students will have their school hours extended from 10 to 60 hours in their first two years of study. They will be trained to put theory to practice and be provided with structured practical experience before embarking on a six-month long enhanced internship in the final year of their studies.