Smart Reader Kids co-founder’s passing great loss to early childhood education

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KUCHING: Smart Reader Worldwide mourns the loss of its group executive director and co-founder of Smart Reader Kids, Datin Seri Datuk Dr Wang Kim Ha.

The success of Smart Reader Kids today is the fruit of her hard work along with her husband Datuk Seri Dr Richard Ong.

Since its inception 30 years ago, Smart Reader Kids, which is the largest chain of child enrichment centres in Malaysia, has successfully expanded internationally to countries such as Indonesia, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and China.

Wang, who loves to travel, took the opportunity from her numerous visits abroad to observe the pattern of education in the countries she visited and adopted the method in all Smart Reader Kids centres nationwide.

Smart Reader Worldwide has been endorsed by the Malaysia Book of Records as ‘The Largest Chain of Child Enrichment Centres in Malaysia’ and has won various awards, local and international.

Among the awards were Franchise of the Year (awarded by Malaysia Franchise Association) in 2017, Outstanding Leader in Early Childhood Education, from Business Excellence Award 2017 as well as Readers Digest Trusted Brand Award 2011.

2019 marked another milestone when she added another feather to her cap, receiving The Woman Leadership Award from CMO Asia and the Global Educator Extraordinaire Icon Award, which was conferred by The World Confederation of Businesses, an international organisation to receive the world’s most important business award, THE BIZZ.

Referred to as the woman entrepreneur who has won the ‘Most Number of Awards in Malaysia’ according to the Malaysia Book of Records, Wang dedicated her entire life to ensuring all children have equal access and opportunity to preschool education.

Furthermore, Wang was a certified lecturer and trainer in Early Childhood Education and Care, which is recognised by the Australian Qualification Framework.

In October, during the Malaysia Franchise Awards 2019, Smart Reader Worldwide was conferred the Best Corporate Social Responsibility award for its effort in the One Child One Hope Education (OCOH) Scholarship Programme.

This made it the first early childhood education provider in Malaysia to provide scholarship to pre-schoolers as Wang believed that every child, regardless of their circumstances, deserved high quality early childhood education while they are still in their formative years.

Recently, Smart Reader Kids made great strides by getting the Parents’ Choice Award and VIPs’ Choice Award (Best Enrichment Centre) organised by theAsianparent.

Minister for Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, who knew Wang personally, remembers her fondly.

“She is the pioneer of early childhood education to whom I looked up to as inspiration as I also hold the portfolio to ensure this industry is dynamic, secure and sustainable.

“We have lost someone remarkable in Datin Seri Datuk Dr Wang Kim Ha, a true leader in the growth of education in this country.”

Additionally, Plaza Merdeka Management Sdn Bhd also conveyed its deepest condolence to the family of the late Wang, saying she was incomparable in the national childhood education scene.

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