Fiji recently celebrated Early Childhood Education Week. The theme for this year’s celebration was ‘Early Childhood Education - Fiji’s Link to the Future’.
To support this year’s theme APTC Children’s Services students facilitated activities at at Korovuto Primary School.
Children, parents and preschool teachers visited the tent where a delightful array of activities taught children about caring for the environment. Many children enjoyed playing with mud, shells, leaves and recycled materials while they investigated the production of oxygen. They also enjoyed the visual displays. Local teachers also obtained information to support their own practices for sustainability.
“This was a great opportunity for APTC Children’s Services students to showcase our knowledge in the community. If we want our Pacific Island children to grow to be leaders then we must teach the future leaders to care for their world so they pass it on in a good shape to the next generation. It was wonderful to see the children, parents and teachers involved in our activities,” said student Norah Yad, from PNG.
In a speech to attendees, Wendy Draayers, APTC’s Director of Hospitality and Community Services, highlighted how the early years are crucial in a child’s educational life.
“Brain research shows that the preschool teacher, who welcomes the child into their formal education life, has the child at the most critical time for their brain development. It is very important that teachers and parents work together to give the child the best opportunity possible in developing their intelligence, emotional state and physical wellbeing,” she said.
Wendy also spoke about the Pacific Regional Council for Early Childhood Care and Education forum (PR4ECCE) forum, which is developing standards to ensure quality education for pre-schoolers across the Pacific.
“APTC is committed to training preschool teachers to bring high quality education to the children of the Pacific because we realise the great benefits it will make to the future of Fiji,” she said.
The ceremony concluded with entertainment from preschool children. The APTC students also surprised the crowd with the Tuvaluan dance ‘Vini Vini’ and a Fijian Meke.