PURAK, Papar – Ninety members of the Board of Governors (BOG) and Head Teachers (HT) of Mission Kindergartens in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu convened at Pace Bene on 28 Apr 2018 for a two-day conference on “Enhancing the Quality of Education in Mission Kindergartens.”
Members from 32 out of the current 34 mission kindergartens took part in the event, representing Labuan, Papar, Limbahau, Kinarut, Limbanak, Terawi, Penampang, Inobong, Kota Kinabalu, Inanam, Manggatal, Telipok, Tuaran, Tenghilan, Kiulu, Kota Belud, Kota Marudu, Ranau, and BunduTuhan.
In his keynote address, Archbishop John Wong said that until 2015, the number of mission kindergartens in the archdiocese had stagnated at 12. He said that AECEC was set up three years ago to establish new mission kindergartens to meet the urgent need of inculcating Christian values in young children.
The archdiocese currently has 34 kindergartens with a total enrollment of over 2500 children.
The prelate said that it is now “time to take stock of what we have,” and to develop and implement plans to upgrade the quality of the new kindergartens.
He urged the delegates to ensure that “while we try to meet the requirements of the national curriculum, we must also put in place a process for imparting our Christian values in the daily interactions with the children.”
The archbishop was happy to note that some mission kindergartens have started Chinese and Kadazan/Dusun language tuition after normal class hours, and encouraged the other kindergartens to follow suit to ensure that our children do not lose the ability to communicate in their mother tongue.
The delegates actively participated in the topics presented during the conference which included:
- Current developments in mission kindergartens
- Faith formation
- Self-evaluation process for continuous improvement
- Moving to excellence in teaching and learning, and
- Forging partnerships in achieving excellence
This was the first time that the Board of Governors and the Head Teachers were brought together in a conference with the hope that the best practices that were shared during the conference would inspire both the BOG and the teaching staff to forge a strong partnership and to move forward together towards excellence.- Ephraim Kouju