The government has plans to merge early childhood education institutions in the country through the setting up of the Special Committee for Oversight of Early Childhood Education Institutions in Malaysia, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said the setting up of the special committee had received the approval of the Cabinet and would be jointly chaired by her ministry and the Education Ministry.
She said among the objectives of the committee were to come up with a special body which will have executive powers to monitor implementation of early childhood education, streamline and supervise all early childhood education institutions in Malaysia without sidelining the rights and existing responsibilities of each ministry and agency involved in early childhood education.
“In the near future, I will be chairing a meeting which will involve all ministries that are related to early childhood eduction,” she said when winding debate at the policy stage on Budget 2019.
Elaborating further, Dr Wan Azizah said currently, children aged four and below were placed in Taman Asuhan Kanak-kanak (nurseries) while those aged five and six, in Taman Didikan Kanak-kanak (kindergartens).
She said oversight of the two institutions came under different ministries and agencies and subject to acts of laws that are not the same.
In other matters, Dr Wan Azizah said the government was currently developing a system to monitor convicts, especially those involved in violence and sexual offences.
She said her ministry and MAMPU (Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit) were collaborating with the judiciary, Royal Malaysia Police, The Prisons Department and other related agencies who have the expertise and resources, to develop the system.
“Through this system, schools, children’s institutions, TASKA, childcare centres and school bus operations can submit applications for vetting of people before hiring staff to ensure that individuals who have criminal records are not hired in industries related to children,” she said.
She added that in framing solutions that are holistic for issues involving children, her ministry was also in the process of coming up with the Children’s Wellbeing Roadmap.
Dr Wan Azizah said the roadmap encompassed a comprehensive action plan that involves all government agencies dealing with children to ensure that children are given a chance to explore their full potential so as to pave the way for a brighter future for them.
Besides her ministry, currently the Education Ministry, Health Ministry, Rural Development Ministry and Home Ministry are on board in coming out with the roadmap.