The HCT-Dubai Childcare Forum concluded recently with an emphasis on the role of kindergartens in shaping the child’s personality.
The forum, organized by Higher Colleges of Technology- Dubai (HCT-Dubai) –Women’s campus, was attended by 200 principals and teachers in government kindergartens and workers in the early education sector.
Mona Abu Ghazala, an Education faculty member at the HCT-Dubai -Women’s Campus, said that international studies have shown that 90% of the child’s mind is shaped at the age of six.
“This underlines the necessity of paying attention to the kindergarten stage, being the stage in which the child’s personality, skills and creativity are shaped,” she added.
“The early childhood stage is the vital stage in which windows of opportunities for learning, skill acquiring, discovery and practice of multiple intelligence types. If the child cannot use human capabilities and potential in this early stage, he may find it harder to use them in the elementary or primary education stage,” she said.
Mona Abu Ghazala cited increasing community awareness about the important role played by kindergartens and early education. However, she said there is a big shortage of kindergarten teachers.
“The kindergarten education success in fulfilling its ultimate goals hinges on the availability of qualified teachers as the UAE is currently witnessing a rise in the demand for the kindergarten teachers,” she added.
The forum featured 24 workshops aimed at showcasing the best kindergarten practices and developing teachers’ capabilities in using up-to-date creative ways to motivate the child’s mind.
Meanwhile, Amna Al Mazem, the dean of the Health Science and Student Development, said this year’s forum tackled several themes including summer teaching strategies; a boosted focus on children’s basic needs for achieving more effective education; and drawing their attention, free play, live experiments at the classroom and different educational ways of helping incorporate various learning processes.
“Higher Colleges of Technology – Dubai/Women’s campus seeks to organize such an annual event to highlight the most updated and creative ways to raise the level of the kindergarten education,” she said.
The forum workshop focused on the most updated innovative ways for implementing the seven factors, which all kindergartens have to observe in compliance with the Ministry of Education’s rules, including artistic expression, cognitive games, reading, computers, research and discovery, as well as acting.
The program leader for the Bachelor of Education, Early Childhood Education program Mr. Sean Ingoldsby stressed the importance of gatherings such as these to strengthen ties between HCT-Dubai and the local kindergartens, which the program is actually designed to support.
Providing opportunities for dialogue and the sharing of new and innovative practices with fellow professionals is critical if the quality of early childhood educational provision is to continue to evolve to meet the needs of the 21st century.
The Early Childhood Bachelor of Education program was launched at Higher Colleges of Technology – Dubai Women’s Campus 6 years ago and has been extremely popular with the college students who have chosen to train as teachers. The program aims to provide students with the insights and skills necessary to work with and teach young children from infancy through to the start of their formal school years in safe and developmentally appropriate settings.
The College is well advanced with plans to open its own Early Childhood Education Centre to cater for the needs of student mothers in its own community as well as to serve as a research facility for Education students and faculty.