Fatimah (seated centre) in a photo call with members of the MPAK and representatives of agencies and departments.

KUCHING: The first international convention on early childhood education to take place in Miri this August is set to attract 500 local and foreign participants.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah expected 100 of the participants to be from Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia.

“Themed 'Early Childhood Education: Basic Foundation for Character Building', the convention will focus on character building and is set to take place from Aug 7 to 9," she said after chairing the Early Childhood Development Council (MPAK) first meeting at Bangunan Baitulmakmur here yesterday.

She explained that the objectives of the convention were to broaden knowledge and understanding on character building among children as well as identifying their interests, talents and potentials by guiding, educating and caring for them.

Five papers relating to early childhood education will be presented – with seven workshops and various exhibitions to be set up.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is expected to attend the event.

On the Early Childhood Development Council (MPAK) first meeting, Fatimah said it was held to review the various programmes and activities held last year – as well as planning for this year's activities in accordance with the childhood development strategic plan for 2020.

She revealed that as of November last year, 104 children were registered in kindergartens across Sarawak and as of this month there were 1,468 Kemas classes with 18,015 registered pupils and 86 Taska classes with a population of 1,189 children.

On another note, she said the state government would continue to provide the special yearly grant of RM5,000 for each registered early childhood education institute (IPAKK), with a total allocation of RM16 million and applications were now open until Feb 28.

>Sources: Borneo Post Online