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Pre-school education programs in Malaysia have been introduced in the 1950's and have
grown rapidly since 1960. The concept of pre-school preschool or preschool is to provide
learning experiences to pupils between the ages of 4 to 6 years to nurture the potential They
are in all aspects of development, mastering basic skills and inculcating positive attitudes in
preparation for entry into the primary school. The program is designed as an education for the
physical and spiritual growth and development of children beyond the family environment
before entering basic education.
Approved Education Act 1996 has given a significant change in preschool education.
Preschool Education has been incorporated into the National Education System. The
provisions of this Act give emphasis to pre-school education for children between the ages of
4 to 6 years. This policy change shows that the Ministry of Education has always focused on
maintaining and enhancing the quality of preschool education.
The development of uncontrolled kindergarten growth led to various approaches, directions
and curricula used in pre-school education. Until now there is no benchmark or special
standard that meets our own culture and customs needs. Existing programs are early
childhood education programs based on the Montessori system or Regio Emilio or others
adapted from outside. Curriculum Pre-school education is carefully crafted to meet the needs
and levels of children's abilities based on the National Education Philosophy. Starting in
2002, all child learning centers either managed by the Ministry of Education or organized by
the private sector must follow the syllabus that has been set up and provided by the Ministry
of Education. Therefore, pre-school education programs are able to provide practical,
abusive, and abnormal children's knowledge, skills and values in fun environments through a
learning and learning approach. This approach is a flexible, dynamic, comprehensive,
interactive and engaging method in classroom exploration activities that promotes curious
instincts among children.
Kindergarten stands for Childrens Park. Kindergarten definitions are not explicitly stated in
the Education Act 1961. However kindergarten management can be understood as any
premises that accepts more than 4 children aged 5 to 6 years for the purpose of receiving
education with a wage. The main goal of education at the kindergarten level is as an early
preparation to formal schooling when the child is 7 years old.
According to the National Pre-School Curriculum (2003), pre-school education is defined as
preparatory prior to schooling at elementary level. Effective, meaningful and joyful schooling
and learning experience can provide them with skills, self-esteem and positive attitudes in
preparation for formal education and lifelong education. According to Rohaty Mohd Majzub
(2003), preschool education is critical and fundamental years to the next level of education as
well as determining the success of an individual's life.
Pre-school education is also a program that provides a learning experience for children aged 4
to 6 years within a year or more before going to Year One in formal schools. Kindergarten
learning is not a mandatory learning in Malaysian Education. However the establishment of
kindergartens by the private sector is strongly encouraged by the government. The concept
used is "Learn to Play" by emphasizing "Themed Learning". Learning methods include class
activities, group activities and individual activities. The uniqueness of preschools organized
by the Ministry of Education is the group's activities that enhance the quality of emotional
and intellectual control. Exposure to these activities can provide a solid foundation for the
concept of smart school concept.
Pre-school education opportunities are provided to all children regardless of social, religious,
residential, physical and mental health conditions and their intellectual development. For
children with special needs they are given the opportunity to study in regular classes or
special classes according to their circumstances and needs. Preschool education programs
should be in line with the child's developmental phenomenon to stimulate thinking, build
positive attitudes and good morals, improve fitness and health towards optimum potential
enrichment. Therefore, the preschool education curriculum focuses on the development of
children in a comprehensive, balanced and integrated manner. Flexible learning approaches
and a comfortable, safe and cheerful learning environment can encourage curious instincts,
passionate ventures And explore and give new experiences to children.
The National Preschool Standard Curriculum is formulated with emphasis on content
standards and learning standards that should be known and practiced by children aged four to
six years old. Content standards and learning standards are based on knowledge, basic skills
and values in the following six Learning Resources:
I. Communication
Ii. Spirituality, attitudes and values
Iii. Humanity
Iv. science and technology
V. Physical and aesthetic development
Vi. Personal skills
This National Preschool Curriculum Document contains a conceptual model of curriculum,
goals, objectives, organizational content of curriculum, curriculum components, teaching and
learning approaches, curriculum materials suggestions, space management and assessment
and student development records. In order to clarify the above, especially in terms of the
implementation of the National Preschool Curriculum, Preschool Pre-School Illustration is
provided. Both documents need to be referred together to plan and implement pre-school
teaching and learning activities.
The success and effectiveness of the implementation of this curriculum depends on the
understanding and appreciation of the implementers in the classroom. Therefore, the Ministry
of Education has provided the Presentation of Preschool Curriculum as a supporting material
to help teachers and kindergarten operators implement the curriculum effectively. However,
implementers can customize the content of the curriculum with the circumstances and the
situation. Executives should also have the knowledge of child psychology, concerned with
the differences in the child's ability, interest and background and sensitivity to changes and
development of the latest education. Hence, teachers can implement teaching and learning
based on the appropriate practice of student development (ABP).
In addition, the timeframe is a major concern for the curriculum component. According to the
National Pre-School Curriculum in the Ministry of Education, Malaysia (2003) has set the
teaching and learning time or class time at the pre-school level of 3 hours and a half a day
from 8.00am to 11.30am. If there is a school holding a lesson for the second session is from
12.00 noon to 3.30 pm. While the day of teaching is five days a week according to the term of
The two main features of the National Pre-School Curriculum design are standard-based
curricula and modular-shaped curriculum.
A. Standardized Curriculum
The National Preschool Standard Curriculum is developed based on the standard of content
and the standard of learning that students need to achieve. The primary purpose of setting
standards is for equity and quality. Equity means that all students need to be given quality
education. The purpose of the standard-based curriculum is to provide the same quality
education to all students.
Content standards are specific statements about what students should know and can do during
a school year. It covers aspects of knowledge, skills and values.
Learning Standard is a set of achievement criteria or indicators in the form of behavioral
behaviors to ensure the achievement of each content standard.
B. Modular Curriculum
The modular form of curriculum is a curriculum whose content is organized and then
delivered in the form of a part or unit, this part or unit is called the module.
Two types of modules are created, namely the Basic Module and Themed Module.
I. Basic Module
Basic Modules comprise Language Components (Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese, Tamil),
Islamic Education, Moral Education, Outdoors and Mathematics. Typical time is allocated for
the teaching of each of these components.
Ii. Themed Module
Themed Module is an integrated module that encompasses elements in all six Spikes as well
as creative, critical and innovative elements. Themed Modules are built using everyday life /
events of children.
The content and standards of learning are based on knowledge, basic skills and values in the
following six Learning Resources: Communication, Spirituality, Attitude and Values,
Humanities, Science and Technology, Physical and Aesthetic Development and Personal
Development (see Figure 1). For the purpose of sustainability, the Spine of the Learning is
the same as the core that is focused on primary education. shows activity suggestions for
themed modules

Part A: Standard by Spool

Communications Support
The backbone consists of Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese and Tamil. Bahasa Malaysia
and English Language are compulsory for all preschool children to learn. Chinese and Tamil
are studied by children in Chinese and Tamil pre-schools. Bahasa Malaysia needs to be
taught for two hours a week, while English is taught for two hours a week at preschoolers
whose Bahasa Malaysia medium and one hour per week in preschools whose medium is not
Bahasa Malaysia.
The main focus of Communication Support is Language and Language Arts Skills. Language
skills include listening skills, speaking skills, reading skills and writing skills. The materials
used should be in line with the developmental stage of the child. Language Arts refers to the
ability of students to discover the beauty of language through the diversity of language
activities and games such as drama and poetry.
Spiritual Support, Attitude and Value
Spiritual Support, Attitudes and Values include Islamic education and Moral Education.
Islamic education is studied by Muslim students for two hours a week. Moral education is
learned by another student for two hours a week.
Islamic studies
Islamic education provides basic knowledge and skills on Rukun Iman, Islamic Pillars,
Prophets and Kalimah Syahadah. Pre-school children learn to purify, abstain, perform prayer
movements, emulate some of the Prophet's morals and perform daily practice according to
manners. At the same time, the child also recognizes the basic language of the Quran,
hijaiyah and Jawi letters and memorizes several short suras of prayer. The teaching and
learning of Islamic education is carried out through activities such as storytelling, simulation,
singing, drama, hands-on, exploring and playing activities.
Moral education
Preschool Moral Education focuses on continually nurturing moral behaviors throughout the
life of a student in preschool. Moral education is not carried out through specific activities but
is implemented through all activities carried out in preschool. The pure values of the National
Preschool Standard Curriculum are as follows: trust in God, kindness, responsibility,
gratefulness, high honor, respect, love, justice, courage, honesty, craft, cooperation,
moderation, tolerance, independence and discipline .

Skill Support
Preschool Education emphasizes the development of children's socio-economic development.
Children will have problems in preschool as well as in primary schools if socioemotions
include aspects of recognizing and managing their own emotions, positive emotional
attainment, positive self-conceptual constructs and constructing interaction skills and social
skills. Socio-psychological development occurs throughout childhood in preschools, it is not
achieved through specific activities but through all activities whether routine, during rest,
during meals and other teaching and learning activities.

Support for Physical and Aesthetic Development

The Support of Physical and Aesthetic Development encompasses the Physical Development
and Health Care and the Development of Creativity.
I. Physical Development and Health Care
Children at pre-school level need activities that strengthen their muscular control. Aspects of
physical development are very important in preschools because without a steady physical
development, children will have difficulty in performing activities such as holding pencils or
brushes for writing and drawing, involvement in sports activities, playing musical
instruments and handling equipment. Pre-school education provides learning opportunities to
improve fine motor skills, motor skills and eye coordination among these children. Things
covered include the right techniques for jumping, welcoming objects, throwing objects and
proper postures while sitting.
This spine also emphasizes on the development of physical health care, environmental
hygiene and nutritious nutrition. The built habits will utilize these children throughout their
ages. Generally children with a healthy body can focus better on learning and have a positive
This spine also emphasizes the aspect of personal safety from sources that may cause
accidents and hazards to themselves including safeguard measures.
Ii. Creativity Growth
Creative development includes visual arts, music education and drama and creative
movement. This key is more emphasizing the process than the product. These children are
given the opportunity to express their ideas creatively and engage in creativity activities.
The focus of visual arts is on art applications, creative expressions and aphrodisiacs. The art
app refers to the process of knowing and selecting the material needed to produce a work.
Creative expression is the process of creating a work. Art aphrodisiac involves the process of
telling the work itself and also showing appreciation for the beauty of the environment as
well as the work of others.
Music education includes singing activities, preliminary experiences of playing percussion,
producing music through improvised material or objects, and musical appreciation.
Drama and Creative Movement include drama and creative movements where students are
given the opportunity to role-play, act, dance and creatively.
This core activity is not only used to enhance creativity but is also used to achieve other key
learning objectives. Singing activities and creative movements are always used during
language learning, math and others.
Ii. Early Maths
Early Mathematics provides early math experience to these children. This experience
includes pronunciation concepts, numbers, easy number operations, money values, time
concepts, shapes and spaces. This mathematical concept is learned at a special time and is
also integrated into all themed learning activities using fun methods.
The support of Science and Technology also provides the opportunity for children to use
computers to perform certain tasks. Computer use is at the very basic level of skill.

Basic Core Modules include Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese (for Chinese language pre-
schools), Tamil (for Tamil language preschools), Islamic Education, Moral Education,
Mathematics and Outdoors.
Generally the core core module is aimed at the mastery of 4M initial literacy (read, write,
calculate, claim). The core module also includes Islamic Education that must be taught by a
qualified religious teacher. Moral education is taught when a Muslim child learns Islamic
Education, then it needs to be classified as a basic core module. Children at this age should be
given special time for physical activity outside, then Outdoor games are also considered as
the basic core modules.


The following minimum allowance should be followed:
1. Preschools should be conducted at least four hours a day (including rest time), which is 20
hours a week for children aged up to five years.
2. Preschools should be conducted at least three and a half hours a day (including breaks),
which is a total of 17 hours a week for children over four years old.
3. Bahasa Malaysia should be used as instructional language at least 10 hours a week in
preschool class using Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction.
4. Bahasa Malaysia should be used as an instructional language at least 6 hours a week in pre-
school classes that do not use Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction.
5. English should be used as instructional language at least 10 hours a week in pre-school
classes using Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction.
6. Bahasa Malaysia should be used as an instructional language at least 6 hours a week in pre-
school classes that do not use Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction.
7. If in a kindergarten there are five or more students studying in Islam, then the pupils
should be taught Islamic teachings by qualified teachers, at least two hours a week.
8. If in kindergarten there are five or more non-Muslim students, the students must be given a
Moral Education at least two hours a week.

The time allocation proposal in preschool is also determined by the age of the student. The
allocation of time is distributed based on the fundamental modules and themed modules
implemented. However, they need to be flexible and teachers can modify the timetable
according to local and student needs.
The 4M basic literacy masterpiece (reading, writing, calculating and applying) is also one of
the main focuses of the National Preschool Curriculum. Therefore, to ensure that students are
able to master this basic 4M literacy, the time suggested for basic modules is much earlier in
the year.
In order to know the level of acceptance of students towards learning taught, assessment will
be conducted continuously on the development and progress of students in cognitive,
affective and psychomotor domains. This assessment is carried out through observations
conducted on behaviour, conversation, interaction and student work. All information obtained
will be stored in a portfolio containing the student's personal records, a record of student
progress and student work.

1. Azizah Lebai Nordin. (2004). Early Childhood Education Theory And Practitionation.
Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Publisher.

2. Curriculum Development Division. (2009). Standard Preschool Documents: National

Pre-School Standard Curriculum. Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Education Malaysia.

3. Duke Amiene Rev (September 9, 2008). Preschool - School - Kindergarten - Tabika -

History. [On-line]. Retrieved September 2, 2010 from
4. Ministry of Education Malaysia (1996), Education Act 1996. Kuala Lumpur: National

5. Federal Government (1961), Education Act 1961. Kuala Lumpur: Government


6. Noor Haris Dzulkilfi, Mohd Rezal Hussin, Rusni Che Adnan, Rosilah Ahmad,
Norkhamidah Mohd Bandi, Che Tom Shaari, et al. (2009). National Practice Standard
Curriculum Orientation Course. [On-line]. Retrieved August 30, 2010 from