ECM Libra Foundation collaborates with Institute CECE which stands for Childhood Education-studies & Community Education (CECE) to sponsor 15 indigenous pre-school teachers from the interior of Sabah to obtain a Diploma in Early Childhood Education Program at CECE.
Background: This sponsorship is in response to the passion, commitment and grit shown by Sis Dorothy Amalia, a native of Tambunan, Sabah towards her desire to bring education to the largely illiterate communities in the interior of Sabah. Operating from Kg Sulit, Paitan a sub-district located at the northernmost corner of the Sandakan division, some 250km away from Kota Kinabalu for perspective; Sis Dorothy has set up 8 kindergartens in the Paitan and Beluran district. Currently there are about 170 children; the majority are from the Orang Sungai ethnic community whose main economic source is farming.
Of the 170 children, a quarter of them are “over-aged” and have never been to school before, a very sad but realistic situation in the interiors of Sabah. If it is not for these kindergartens, some would not have a chance to step into a school. However there is a glimmer of hope for these children. Now not only do they have a formal early education but are able to continue their education in government primary schools in Paitan and Kota Marudu; albeit on an “accelerated” term.
About the Diploma programme: The programme which commenced in Nov 2013 is a 30 months programme where all the 15 kindergarten teachers will go through a comprehensive and structured training. Classes are conducted in UTAR campus in Kota Kinabalu during the school holidays where CECE’s lecturers fly there to conduct the classes.
The command of English proves to be the main barrier for most of these teachers but with some encouragement and perseverance, they are getting there, slowly but surely. Hopefully, after they have graduated and armed with a Diploma, they will be better equipped to teach the children at their own communities.
Some pictures of the teachers during their classes: