Although people prefer learning English because of its global acceptance but there is nothing wrong in being familiar with a local language.
So, the National Heritage Board in the Singapore government has designed a program where the mother tongue will be taught in schools. This has been designed in a way that will include practical lessons such as being a hawker selling fruits at a local market. Along with these lessons, local heritage will also be included.
Features of the program
The program has come up with different layout of courses to make the program interesting and loved by kids. Instead of the old method of reading through the textbooks, children would be made familiar with hats and pocket watches and other heritage items.
Assistant director Ms. Karen Chin for Education and Community outreach at NHB said “we’re really trying to integrate into the Early Childhood Education System, by also encouraging the heritage exploration from the classroom itself, even before the children visit the museum”.
- The course consists of games and exercises which will make them practice their mother tongue by role plays. Also, they will come to know about various ethnic groups and also about their linkages to Singapore.
- This is not just a short-term goal of making the students learn about their mother tongue. But, this will empower the professional development of the mother tongue among teachers and create more opportunities for them. Not just this, it will also bring into limelight those who speak mother tongue instead of English.
- Furthermore, a fully-fledged training session has also been set up for teachers so that they get familiar with the language and feel confident enough to teach it. Chinese teachers have already undergone this training. Now, Malay and Tamil mother tongue teachers will also be undergoing the same training process.
- For now, 27 pre-schools have signed up for the Singapore’s Little Treasures Mother Tongue Program.
- Despite the quest to learn English language, efforts are being made to reach around 14,000 students in three years.