Fatimah (fifth left) with the MPAKS members after the council's meeting. Looking on are Rosey (fourth left) and Saadiah (sixth left).

KUCHING: The Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry will be holding its inaugural International Early Childhood Education Convention in Miri from Aug 7 to 9 this year.

Its minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah revealed yesterday that the Early Childhood Development Council (MPAKS) would be in charge of organising the event which would focus on character building.

She told a press conference this after attending the first meeting of MPAKS for this year held at Baitulmakmur Building.

With the theme Early Childhood Education: Basic Foundation for Human Character Building, the event is expected to attract 500 participants nationwide plus about 100 international participants from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Singapore.

“In this event, we will have local and international speakers based on the topics that have been identified.

“Prior to the event, we will have five papers on early childhood education as the basic foundation for human character building, effective education and nursing processes, conducive environment to encourage nurturing of good values, language communication as well as instilling religion and good values as guidance to character building.

“Following that, we will conduct seven workshops with topics that are subjected to changes pending discussions,” she added.

Elaborating on the event, she explained that the ministry was organising an international convention on early childhood education for the first time.

Previous conventions were for local kindergarten and nursery teachers in the state.

“But we decided that it was high time we internationalise our convention so that there is sharing ideas of best practices not only among our own, but also with those outside the state and even country,” she said.

She added the ministry through MPAKS had identified several top speakers for certain topics such as a speaker from Japan with the expertise on values of character building such as cleanliness.

“We also identified several other speakers from Singapore and Indonesia on their strengths in patriotism value towards character building.

“With this, we will be able to enhance our loyalty, unity and respect towards one another in the multi-racial society irrespective of religion and race.

“Character building should start at the pre-school level so we will focus on instilling good values such as respect, patriotism and kindness,” she said.

Also present were Women, Family and Childhood Development Assistant Minister Rosey Yunus and the ministry's permanent secretary Dr Saadiah Abdul Samat.

Source: New Sarawak Tribune