Early Childhood Education Opens up a New Career Path for Ethnic Minority Youths and Support the Learning of Non-Chinese Speaking Children
"The course has allowed me to learn the necessary teaching knowledge and led me to a career in education. I feel more confident overall." says Farooq Shamila." Farooq graduated with a Diploma in Early Childhood Education (D(ECE)) (Supporting Learning and Teaching for Non-Chinese Speaking Children). It is a programme fully subsidised by C-for-Chinese@JC and organised by The Education University of Hong Kong.
From Challenges to Commitment
Farooq struggled with learning when she was little; and her family did not know how to support her. Understanding the kind of support ethnic minority (EM) children need in education, Farooq grew up with a passion for education, pursuing the path of becoming a Multicultural Teaching Assistant as she completed the D(ECE) Programme.
Early Childhood Education: Combining Theory and Practice
The D(ECE) programme is a one-year full-time course that trains a new generation of Multicultural Teaching Assistants to support non-Chinese speaking (NCS) children. It has marked an important milestone to involve EM youths to support NCS students in kindergarten.
Not only is the D(ECE) programme fully subsidised by C-for-Chinese@JC, students are provided with studentship so as to relieve their financial pressure. Emphasising both theory and practicum, the programme consists of ten courses. It provides training and resources on supporting the language development of NCS children, Home-School-Community collaboration, and Chinese for early childhood education. During the study period, students will have 20 days for school attachment and six weeks for practicum in a kindergarten. Outstanding students are also eligible for scholarships and opportunities to take the Higher Diploma programme.
Becoming a Bridge of Communication for NCS Families
Farooq believes that the D(ECE) programme offers a practical learning opportunity. Besides gaining access to a wealth of early childhood teaching resources, the diploma also gives her the credential to work as a teaching assistant in kindergarten. It is a gateway to becoming a full-time teacher.
"Thanks to the real work settings, I can apply what I have learned and deepen my understanding of education." says Farooq. "I can also understand how to work with different people and become a communication bridge between NCS children, teachers, and EM parents."
Inspiring EM Families and Other Youths
Farooq said that the D(ECE) programme has brought positive impacts to her family. It has inspired her younger siblings to pursue careers in education. Farooq plans to pursue the Higher Diploma in Early Childhood Education to become a teacher.
"With my Chinese-speaking ability, I hope to bridge the communication for the EM community. I also wish my story will inspire more peers to learn Chinese or even become an educator to support the learning of NCS students and strengthen EM parents' understanding of their children's learning."
Cross-Cultural Background + Professional Education Training = Perfect Teaching Assistant
The D(ECE) programme can help more young people like Farooq. Embracing their cultural backgrounds, the programme equips EM youths to become Multicultural Teaching Assistants and open up a pathway to become an educator; contributing to the teaching and learning of NCS students.