07 Jan Chief Executive’s New Year Message
Chief Executive’s New Year Message
Inspiring an Aspirational ECE Sector
“Creating a steadfast and competitive ECE that will game change the
future of Malaysia’s young.”
There is no doubt that 2021 was challenging. As poet, philosopher and educator, Ralph Waldo Emerson famously pointed out, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
The events of 2020 and 2021 are far from anything that one could ever predict. Ironically, I could say the same of the resilience we have witnessed; the strength of the human spirit in these troubled times, too, is something that none of us could have ever imagined.
For this, I extend my heartfelt thank you to the staff and students of Dika who have shown so much strength and adaptability through these trying times. Each one of you is the reason why Dika is such a special place.
Everything Happens for a Reason
“When the lockdowns were imposed, the team at Dika
was gravely concerned about one thing: how do we ensure that our
students continue to experience the best learning outcomes?”
Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Special Education programmes are experiential, largely employing a lot of hands-on sessions to complement the learning process. As we leveraged online platforms to conduct classes, the teaching faculty quickly turned to digitalisation.
This enabled us to secure a seamless means of connecting with students, and for students with one another, to ensure that the learning experience would continue to be interactive. It also created a way for the industry to continue providing their insights through webinars, online discourse and even internship opportunities. Equally, the faculty reached out on a one-to-one basis to provide emotional support for students.
Ensuring that learning is interactive
I believe that everything happens for a reason. As we fought on to keep things as normal as we could, the challenges that we faced helped us evaluate processes and ways to see things in a whole new different light. It showed us the gaps that needed to be addressed and the clarity on what needed to be done.
As we reached deep into ourselves, we also found ourselves reaching out. The Smart Collaboration with BAC Education Group is the coming together of two institutions with a vision to set the benchmark for and drive the ECE industry.
Personally, I am excited by how Dika students will be empowered to better embrace the digital learning sphere through BAC’s online leadership; and on another level, I am optimistic that together we will increase ECE educator numbers and create better support for the industry.
Game Changing the Industry
Dika Alumnus Luastilla Harajan in an engaging class
“We will lead conversations, create awareness and steer change that
builds a steadfast ECE foundation for our children.”
Our relentless pursuit for ECE has paved the way for us to play a more significant role to change the ECE industry. This is key towards a sustainable, prosperous and competitive Malaysia.
As a specialist, Dika College has the capacity and propensity to be a one-stop-centre for ECE education. From school leavers to in-service teachers, we have the expertise and the programmes to equip the sector with well-qualified and competent educators.
We are poised to act as a centre which the industry can come to for its ECE educator needs. These needs could range from the supply of educators to the provision of short-term to long-term ECE services and expertise.
Professionalism for the Profession
Educator competency and qualification must continue to take centrestage
“We will educate the public on the benefits of ECE
through collaborations with government agencies, professional
associations and industry organisations.”
Yet, there are a few challenges that we must address. How do we create, develop and nurture a professional push that will give ECE the attention it rightfully deserves in terms of better wages and recognition for educators?
How do we spread the key message that originated from the first UNESCO World Conference on Education for All in 1990, in Jomtien, Thailand – that “Learning begins at birth”?
In achieving this, I firmly believe that educator competency and qualification must continue to take centre stage. As educators are better qualified, and society begins to see the benefits of a strong ECE foundation for children, remunerations and benefits will begin to be commensurate.
This will also help change the misconceptions that surround ECE, especially those that merely associate it with childminding to one that resonates a crucial educational foundation of a nation’s young.
I am looking forward to working with YWCA, FGA and like-minded partners to further reach out
Impact the Future
Dika graduates inspiring future generations
“We have the years of experience behind us, the credentials and the
right partners to journey along with.”
When I was 18, I was keen to be independent, certainly making many plans for the day I turned 21. In 2022, Dika turns 18, and as an institution, we too will enter a phase to gear us up for our impending 20th and 21st year.
It is time to go all out. Academic quality has been and will continue to be the backbone, hallmark and DNA of Dika. Our staff, partners and alumni are our strongest links to the industry and their embodiment of the Dika Spirit is awe-inspiring to say the least.
As educators, one can influence the future in a way that no other profession or career can. You are in the position to mould confident children, nurture resilient adults and build communities that will uphold life values that transcend generations.
“Let’s join our minds, our hearts and our voices as we forge ahead to do
our best for all children.”
Here’s wishing you and your family a Happy New Year.
Chief Executive, Dika College