Monday, May 25, 2009

Rosmah Mansor – Permata Negara Centres Will Help Realise 1malaysia Concept

KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 (Bernama) — The “Permata Negara” early childhood care and education programme will help realise the concept of 1Malaysia among children in the country through its syllabus, said Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the prime minister.

Rosmah, who is chairman of the National Permata Policy Executive Committee, said the syllabus did not differentiate the children in terms of race, background or religion.

“The formative years of one to five were the most appropriate period to shape thinking skills and self-resilience in children through early exposure to communication and mingling in the natural way,” she said after an interview over Radio 24 at Wisma Bernama, here today.

Rosmah said that at the Permata Negara centres, the children found themselves in a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere without any feeling of racial difference, and together sang the “Negaraku” national anthem and learned the “Rukun Negara” national ideology.

“At the Permata Negara centres, we want the children to undergo a good interaction process without coercion or the need for a special programme to foster unity among them,” she said.

Rosmah said feedback showed that children who went through the Permata Negara centres underwent a process of healthy mingling whereby they were able to pick up the dialect or language of the other communities.

Rosmah said she hoped that a ministry would set up a special department to supervise the syllabus used at the Permata Negara centres so that it can be extended to all other kindergartens and nurseries.

She said that by the end of this year, more than 300 Community Development Department (Kemas) nurseries would be recognised as Permata Negara centres and by next year all the Kemas nurseries would follow the Permata Negara syllabus.

The Permata Negara centres have been operating under an early childhood care and education pioneer project for children under five since March 1, 2007, with priority given to those from families with a monthly household income of less than RM1, 500.

The nurturing at the Permata Negara centres differs from that at the ordinary nurseries in the sense that parents are required to spend at least one hour every week to be with the children at the centres, besides visiting them at lunchtime daily to foster a closer parent-child relationship.