Empowering Young Women with Early Childhood Education Skills

Kuala Lumpur, 23 January 2016 – Dika College, one of the leading Early Childhood Education (ECE) institutions in Malaysia proudly witnessed the graduation of 30 young women from marginalized background at the recent Young Women’s Christian Association – Vocational Training Opportunity Centre (YWCA – VTOC)’s 18th Certificate Presentation ceremony. These graduates successfully completed a one year programme in Early Childhood Education as a result of the collaborative effort between Dika College and YWCA Kuala Lumpur.

The YWCA – VTOC Certification Presentation ceremony was graced by Her Highness Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah who shared her admiration for the humble pursuit led by YWCA for the benefit of young women who come from challenged backgrounds.

YWCA has been an active advocate in reaching out to young women with economically disadvantaged backgrounds for the past 18 years. Under VTOC, these young girls are given the opportunity and platform to venture into various sectors ranging from commerce, IT, culinary & bakery, hairdressing & beauty care, sewing & tailoring course and early childhood teacher training course.

“In addition to being equipped with income generating skills, trainees are also facilitated with the skills needed to prepare them for the working world such as life skills, personality building and entrepreneurial skills,” said June Yeoh, Co-Chairperson of YWCA – VTOC.

The partnership between Dika College and YWCA was established to provide the opportunity for women and girls from YWCA to train and learn the skills in ECE. Chee Ling Pua, CEO of Dika College expressed that it is gratifying to see that the partnership between Dika College and YWCA – VTOC has churned out trainees specifically in ECE.

“Congratulations to all the young women graduating this year. We are happy to note that young women from YWCA have responded well to ECE over the years. This is in line with Dika College’s initiative in encouraging careers in ECE.”

Dika College partnered with YWCA’s Vocational Training Opportunity Centre (VTOC) in 2006. Dika College is one of the private institutions in Malaysia to provide a pathway for these girls from challenged backgrounds to pursue the one year training programme in ECE. Offering a partial scholarship, Dika College also undertakes the placement of these girls at kindergartens and childcare centres where they will earn a salary so they can support themselves.

Pua said: “Today, about 200 young girls have gone through this training programme and this has transformed the girls’ lives. They come from poor families and backgrounds from all over Malaysia including Sabah and Sarawak. It is an ongoing initiative that is close to my heart. We not only want these students to attain a certificate qualification but to offer them with a pathway to pursue their programmes where they can continue their education locally or abroad. This is an inspiring CSR initiative and we are truly proud of the outcome.”

Dika College has always aspired to give back to the community. The partnership with YWCA aptly aligns Dika College’s pursuit in empowering disadvantaged young women in this country with proper training and skills in ECE. Dika College is passionate in helping the urban poor who faces financial difficulty in pursuing ECE. This is most evident in the B40 category and it is Dika College’s aim to assist those in need, especially in the ECE sector.

Chrishella Maison Kulimbang from Sabah had this to say at the ceremony representing the Early Childhood Education class:

“I’m from Sabah which is pretty far away from here and there are times where I miss home but never once did I regret coming here to attend the Early Childhood Education course in YWCA. The classes that we attended were very interesting and we obtained so much knowledge on becoming an Early Childhood educator. Not only did we learn how to educate young children, but we ourselves have personally developed too and I have grown to be more independent.

We had to wake up very early so that we don’t miss our bus to go to work and attend theory classes after work. We were put in all kinds of situations, be it happy or sad, and even faced tough challenges at times. Even so, we know that this prepares us to face harsher conditions when we are out in the real world. Every experience is a learning process that helps us to grow into a better person. We thoroughly enjoyed our job as an educator and our life as a student. YWCA-VTOC has provided us with a place to sleep, food to eat, a place to study and all necessities needed are always fulfilled. They even arranged for courses to prepare us for life after we leave. To be given the chance to study here is a blessing. Never will we ever forget the opportunities and help given to us even after we have walked out from here and we are truly grateful from the bottom of our hearts.”

Dika College has continuously seen success in providing professional training for ECE programmes to a wide segment of early childhood educators till today. More than 500 graduates have walked through the doors of the institution. Among the courses offered are the Diploma in Early Childhood Education, Diploma in Special Education (Early Years) and Executive Diploma in Early Childhood Education. For more information on the early childhood programmes offered at Dika College, log on to www.kolejdika.edu.my.

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