Hello everyone! My name is Nelvianna Masandul, I’m 30 years old and I’m a Dika Alumni. Having graduated with a Diploma in Early Childhood Education in 2015, I’m currently working as a teacher trainer at SIB Kindergarten, Likas Kota Kinabalu. My primary scope of work consists of assisting teachers in developing and enhancing the schools’ curriculum and lesson plans based on KSPK (Kurikulum Standard Prasekolah Kebangsaan).

I first knew about Dika College from FGA (Full Gospel Assembly) Church. Born and bred from Dandun, a rural village in Pitas, Sabah, getting a tertiary education is not easy. I’m thankful that I was given the opportunity by FGA in assisting me to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. I love children and working with them brings me great joy and fulfillment in my life’s purpose. I hope that by becoming a teacher I can serve my community in Sabah in teaching children in rural areas, so that they too will have the opportunity for an education just like any other children in the city. 

With SIB Kindergarten, we are able to mentor and assist rural schools in remote villages. Most of the schools in these areas are usually faced with lack of basic child development knowledge like hygiene and constructive lesson plans as well as certified teachers. Teachers from those schools will be trained and monitored closely to ensure that both the students and teachers will gain a memorable learning and teaching experience. And at the same, I feel blessed that my dreams are slowly becoming real day by day. 

But the journey to get to this day is not an easy one. There was a time that I felt the work and assignments were weighing down on me and I felt so helpless and alone. And then came Mr Mohan, my former lecturer, to the rescue. He helped me to feel motivated again. I remembered him saying “What you start you must finish. You can do it. If other people can, you can too!” If it wasn’t for his words of encouragement, I may not have been where I am today. Till this day, if any of my friends and colleagues feel the same way, I will do my best to encourage them not to give up too!

I hope in the future that more students will be interested in the early childhood education industry. Not many realized how important this industry is and that this is the job that will help to shape the next generation.

Lastly, for those who are keen to do diploma in early childhood education, I would encourage them to venture out to the city; study there and work at the same to gain better understanding of the programme through application and hands-on learning. The learning experience and exposure they will gain is significantly vast; the different kinds of children they will meet, the teaching methods and the reality of the early childhood education system. With passion and motivation, you can be a great teacher one day!