10 Nov Dika College Student : Toh Hwee Ern
A Hands-On Approach by Toh Hwee Ern
“An educator plays an extremely important role in creating a happy and conducive
environment for children by building bonds between them and their parents.”
Toh Hwee Ern, a Diploma in Special Education (Early Years)
at Dika College, shares his thoughts on the programme.
1) What inspired you to take up the Diploma in Special Education (Early Years)?
Growing up, I believed that all children possessed equal abilities. It wasn’t until I went to work at a kindergarten that I realised children with special needs exist too. I found their behaviour peculiar, as I had no knowledge about their disabilities. However, this intrigued me and I wanted to learn more about children on the spectrum.
Today, I’m pursuing the Diploma in Special Needs Education (Early Years) at Dika College. Early childhood education may appear to be a field dominated by women. In my opinion, even men should consider being in the profession because there should be a balance of male and female teachers. Both genders can help children develop effectively as well as prepare them for society.
HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE: Toh’s visit to Pusat Pemulihan Dalam Komuniti (PPDK) Wawasan,
where he and his coursemates conducted learning activities in the form of games and arts and
crafts and for the students there.
2) What is your takeaway from the experiences you gained?
My main takeaway from the experiences gained is that I learned how integral psychology and counselling are. Those experiences taught me the ins and outs of a child’s mind and properly guide them in life.
I enjoyed learning how to understand a child’s feelings which helped me develop better lesson plans for each child. This has inspired me to further my studies to the degree level.
3) How about projects? Were there any that made a big impression on you?
At Dika College, lecturers are able to bridge the gap between theory-based learning and hands-on learning. As a hands-on learner, a project that was memorable for me was when we devised a curriculum plan that best suited students at Program Pemulihan Dalam Komuniti (PPDK Wawasan). It was wonderful exchanging experiences and information with the teachers at the centre.
I found this to be a truly memorable experience because I got to help spread awareness on the importance of special needs education and gain first-hand experience of being a special needs educator.
4) What is your opinion on the lecturers at Dika College?
I work as a kindergarten teacher and therefore, as a part-time student, balancing my studies and work could be rather challenging. I’m very grateful to have lecturers who understood that. Their style of combining theory with hands-on lessons helped me understand the bigger picture of this course, and they taught me how to see the opportunities of being a special needs educator.
HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE: Toh teaching students arts and crafts.
5) How do you feel about being a student at Dika College?
HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE: Toh’s participation in a fun walk organised by
Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya to raise disability awareness.
Overall, I have enjoyed being a student at Dika College. I believe that Dika College has excellent lecturers who are able to keep the classes light while imparting their full knowledge and experience.
In essence, I believe that the diploma is a good investment for my future. Now that I am almost completing my studies, I plan to conduct intervention programmes for children with special needs.