Vital to build resilience in children

Fatimah launches the coffee table book “Women in ECCE: Sowing The Seeds For The Future”.

KUCHING: It is vital to nurture resilience in children in tandem with the new normal which has been necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah explained that resilience would enable them to withstand adversity and bounce back and grow despite life’s downturn.

“So, the future image of our children is one that is happy, of good character, and also resilient,” she said during the closing of a three-day Sarawak Preschool International Convention 2021 and launching of the Women in ECCE: Sowing The Seeds For The Future coffee table book at Waterfront Hotel here yesterday (Oct 3).

She also said that it was important for both parents and teachers to inculcate the right values in children during their formative years.

“These values include kindness, compassion, sincerity, honesty, respect, community spirit, patriotism, physical hygiene and healthy eating.

“The Sarawak government would like early childhood care and education (ECCE) in the state to continue with value driven early childhood education for character development through fun learning activities,” she said.

The minister noted that ECCE teachers were faced with challenges in teaching during the pandemic.

“With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of classes, even for ECCE, have shifted online and character building has become a great challenge in the new norm.

“Thus, we need to adapt ourselves to the new norm in our teaching and learning,” she pointed out.

She called upon ECCE teachers to gear themselves up for teaching in the new norm.

“No doubt, young students have lost a lot of time as a result of interruptions to their learning due to the pandemic.

“Therefore, ECCE teachers play a pivotal role in ensuring that these young children can catch up on their learning so that they are better prepared when they enter primary school,” she said.

As such, she said the convention was held to further equip the teachers with skills and knowledge to teach effectively despite the pandemic.

“This convention is timely as participants are able to come together to share knowledge and learn new strategies to cope with the challenging time during Covid-19 pandemic and also as the country is moving towards an endemic stage of the virus.” 

She said appropriate prevention measures and strict compliance to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) must be taken before, during and after lessons by the parents and ECCE teachers.

“Fortunately, small children are naturally more resistant than adults against Covid-19, but it is our hope that soon there will be a vaccine for our children below 12 years old. And hopefully it will also include our ECCE children,” said Fatimah. Also present was Assistant Minister of Community Wellbeing Datuk Francis Harden Hollis.