SINGAPORE: The Education Ministry (MOE) will set up its next five kindergartens "at the right place" -- where there is appropriate demand and where it would do the most good for residents and children.
Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah said this after a visit to an MOE Kindergarten on Thursday morning.
The MOE Kindergarten is located within Punggol View Primary School and is one of the ministry's five kindergartens.
The kindergarten had a joint Lunar New Year celebration with Punggol View Primary School and its students performed two songs during the concert.
It is the first such collaboration between a primary school and kindergarten.
Ms Indranee, who was the guest of honour at the celebration, said she was encouraged to see the children already very engaged, less than a month after its opening.
She said: "The test of whether a kindergarten is teaching well and the children are learning well, is the level of the children's engagement. I was very encouraged to see that after just one month of the kindergarten opening, the children are very engaged and are not shy to speak up.
"Another sign is how the children have already started to make friends and the interaction with the primary school kids is also very good. It's always good to have older kids, and you want the older kids to think in terms of role modelling and mentoring the younger ones."
The ministry will open another five kindergartens in the heartlands by 2015 and Ms Indranee said that while MOE has preliminary ideas on where to place them, it is about matching them to where the demand is.
She said: "What we want is a diversity of the landscape. The MOE model is one where you site them in schools but even then, as you would know from earlier statements, we have also indicated that we are quite willing to explore community sites because it also gives you a chance to see how children learn at a community site and not at a school setting.
"And then you can get a sense of comparison to know which is better or what are the strengths of a particular site." - CNA/ac/ms
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