The Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) on Monday organised a symposium on pre-education at its Muscat Hall under the patronage of H E Sayyid Saud bin Hilal bin Hamad al Busaidi, the Minister of State and Governor of Muscat.
H E Busaidi covered the symposium's main topics, which included the importance of pre-education, its challenges, its regulatory boards, the requirements of a child during the stage of pre-education and experiences of developed countries in this field.
Eng Ridha Juma al Saleh, board member and chairman of OCCI’s service committee, said, “Pre-education is very important and hence we need to understand its challenges and ways to overcome them,” he said.
Siham Mohammed Hashim, who runs the Al Waha private kindergarten school, said, “Pre-education is a stage that needs scientific and well-studied planning to overcome obstacles in higher educational level.
“The first kindergarten in the world was founded in 1873 by a German scholar, and gradually they spread all over the world. The first kindergarten in the sultanate was founded in 1976,” she said.
The first working paper presented at the symposium was that of Dr Amaal Mohammed Mohammed Badawi, assistant instructor at Nizwa University, and was titled 'The importance of pre-education stage and its educational aims'.
Dr Amaal said, “The best kindergarten is one that imparts education through play, which develops the senses of a child. Studies prove that children who attend kindergarten fare better in school than those who don't.”
She said that the benefits of pre-education include providing children with positive behavioural habits, mental growth, improving their physical abilities through motor skills, encouraging them to express themselves, and boosting their self-confidence.