2018 CEO’s message
by admin | Jan 22, 2018 | CEO Message, Latest CEO Message
“We always thrive to be competitive by embracing the ever-evolving early childhood sector and taking strategic steps to be industry relevant. As we bid farewell to an extraordinary year, we look forward to a new year of exploring new frontiers.”
Dear Students, Colleagues, Alumni, Partners and Friends,
Happy New Year everyone! I trust that you celebrated the arrival of the New Year in good spirits with your family and friends. Although we are few days into the New Year, I would like to take the opportunity to reflect on 2017. First of all, I want to say that each and every one of you has been a game-changer in contributing to the renewed vision of Dika College, which we established last year as “To be leaders in nurturing socially and environmentally conscious individuals to actively create and contribute to high impact economies.”
2017 was a year defined by growth and innovation at Dika. While we are an established institution in Malaysia known for its comprehensive early childhood education and special education diploma programmes, we were focused on providing more opportunities to students interested in the ECE sector while exploring options to expand their reach.
We forged new and important partnerships to offer diverse academic programmes, which are industry relevant and keeping to the demands of the global market. This year, we will continue this effort by forming new partnerships to offer internationally-recognized programmes. Our focus is still aimed at providing a pathway for our students to obtain the exposure they need to fare in the competitive global market.
Last year, we partnered with Trine University in the US to offer a 3+1 bachelor’s degree programme in Elementary Education and Special (Mild) Intervention, including an internship opportunity in the US. This year, in May, we expected to launch our pioneer 3+0 degree programme, Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) with the renowned New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC).
In addition, we partnered with the University of Business and International Studies (UBIS) in Switzerland to offer their Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) at Dika. These degrees were introduced to offer top-up opportunities for graduates of the Diploma in Early Childhood Education, Special Education (Early Years) or the Executive Diploma in Early Childhood Education to gain their degree.
Further, Dika now offers a Diploma in Business Management in recognition that business skills are required in every industry and that a business qualification will open doors to a wide range of job opportunities. I am also a strong believer that the mind has every ability and power to make our goals come true.
In our pursuit to continuously best equip our students with state-of-the-art knowledge and skills, we are offering the Revolutionary Therapy programme. The Revolutionary Therapy programme is run in collaboration with Inspired Life Coaching & Therapy Services. We expect to offer more short programmes to equip our students with relevant skills.
In celebrating our efforts towards women empowerment, we applaud the achievements of the 33 young women who received their diplomas at the 19th graduation ceremony at the Young Women’s Christian Association – Vocational Training Opportunity Centre (YWCA – VTOC) recently. We look forward to our continued commitment to providing vocational opportunities to aspiring ECE educators not only in West Malaysia but also in East Malaysia through our strategic partnership with YWCA Malaysia.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone of you for your significant support and dedication in 2017. The new year promises to be yet another interesting year but it will certainly be a challenging one. However, I am certain by working together and being focused on the creating an impact in the education sector, we will realise our ambitions and dreams in setting new benchmarks in the industry. It has been truly gratifying to have you part of the Dika team. Keep up the good work!
Have a Great 2018!
Chee Ling Pua
Shaping and Raising the Standards of Future Early Childhood Education
Chee Ling Pua, the CEO of Dika College has a great vision for the early childhood and special education field in Malaysia. At the helm of one of the thriving early childhood education (ECE) institutions in the country, she is focused on shaping and raising the standards of future early childhood educators.
The key strategy towards that aim has been the focus of Dika College since the beginning. It is committed to engaging highly qualified lecturers and providing industry relevant academic programmes. “It is very important to me that we prepare our students to do well in the industry. We facilitate this outcome through our Diploma and Degree programmes.”
The comprehensive academic programmes with its emphasis on practical placement that is offered at Dika College is one of strategies of its success. Its curriculum is specially designed to emphasise on the professional development of the students. Also, their academic programmes are constantly reviewed to ensure its relevance to its industry. This is achieved by being in touch with the primary industry players to acquire practical feedback.
A majority of these industry players are select kindergartens where Dika students get their practical training. Here, students not only are kept abreast with the current practices in early childhood education, they also get the opportunity to experience teaching young children with the integrated modules learnt at Dika College.
Dika College’s other competitive edge is its academic staff. One of the distinct qualities of the pro-grammes offered at this college is in the way it is delivered. This is owed to the adept lecturers who don’t only instill knowledge but also set the bar high by challenging their students.
“Our lecturers are also very passionate about what they are teaching. They are constantly engaging with each other to ensure what they teach are current. The criteria to become a Dika lecturer are expectedly high. They must have at least five years of working experience. Lecturers are also predominantly Masters and Bachelors degrees holders. Mo st of the lecturers at Dika College are also invested in the development of early childhood education in Malaysia.
As much as Dika College leverages on the talent pool in the local front, it appreciates the expertise offered by more matured industries internationally. This is the reason Dika forged partnerships with four international institutions in New Zealand, United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore in order to give their students the exposure they need to fare in the competitive international market. Through its degree programme, students are given the option to study with an international partner in order to gain knowledge and experience of teaching trends at the international level.
“I have been seeking to collaborate with an international partner to offer a 3 + 0 programme at Dika to provide students with a professional education with international exposure in Malaysia.”
“As it turns out, this will be happening soon as Dika College will be introducing a 3 + 0 degree in ECE programme partnering with NZTC. The course content and assessment will be set by NZTC. Diploma graduates from Dika College are exempted for Year 1 and will proceed to Year 2 of the 3 + 0 degree pro-gramme. “
“This is a first for NZTC, to be partnering with a Malaysian institution in ECE. Dika has the biggest cohort in ECE of 320 active students, which is a good arrangement for NZTC. We are looking at a cohort of 25 students for the first intake.”
Another academic programme that is in the pipeline is the Diploma in Business programme. It is meant to complement the primary programmes offered. Students can pick it up as an elective to enhance their knowledge in setting a business in ECE. Moving forward, Dika is also looking to offer degree programmes in business, Special Education as well as Masters in ECE.
There is a great deal of opportunity and room for growth for Dika College. In three years, Dika College aspires to be located in full-facility campus where its focus will remain on the positive growth of student performance and diverse academic programmes.
According to Pua, there is more that can be done for ECE. Parents and the community at large should be driving the industry. They are the one with control. If you compare ECE in on the international front, high standards are set for educators in ECE. In countries such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand, to be an educator in ECE is a coveted position. “The whole paradigm needs to shift and then only we will see the industry transform here. If the society doesn’t see it, it will be a challenge.”
However, there have been a lot of positive changes in the ECE industry in Malaysia, which shows it is moving in the right direction. The National Educational Blueprint acknowledges and emphasises the importance of ECE. The Government has enforced for Diploma in Early Childhood be the minimum requirement for teachers in kindergarten. In fact they also intend to move up the enrolment of students from 6 years to 4 years old.
With the advent changes and awareness of early education, Dika College has set a benchmark in the Early Childhood Education field. It is focused on continuously innovating to best prepare students for the real world and train early childhood educators with the knowledge, expertise and attitude to meet the changing dynamics of educating young children.
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