A community kindergarten always means a lot to parents. That's where the youngsters start their life long journey of learning. And parents can place their trust on the early learning educators . Besides to many people today kIndergartens reflect the social strength of a community and provide the foundation for character building.Furthermore they can be used as success indicators of a town's social achievement.
This brings to mind how parents choose kindergartens for their children. What criteria do they use? Some use historical background and scholastic achievements (can these results really tell?)of the kindergartens. Some kindergartens use very good publicity to attract parents. Some are religion-based. But many parents also choose kindergartens based on their location. Thus the Krokop Chinese Methodist Kindergarten has a very large population and continues to thrive. Some parents insist on sending their brats to high fee paying business like kindergartens with limited pupils. While some parents choose socially conscious and church funded kindergartens which do not charge much. Some parents have no choice at all but send their children to a kindergarten in their village.
Some kindergartens are attractive because of the teachers they have. My son chose a kindergarten himself after dropping out from one (He refused to go to the kindergarten for three consecutive mornings because one of the teachers laughed at his name) and finally we found one to his liking. And he was very right because the kindergarten had at that time a great music teacher (to whom he still has the greatest respect) and a good art teacher. The teachers used to say that he was a student who continued to dance even when the music had stopped! And I too enjoyed picking him up from school in the evenings. Parents of his mates were very polite and kind and several of them came from the farms nearby! He also liked the biscuits given by the kindergarten and the kind cleaning lady who smiled a lot. He had two memorable years and made life long friends not only with his classmates but with the teachers.
Many kindergartens which were first started by a church tend to be very stable and have a strong value base. For that parents are usually grateful. A friend remarked recently that her children had a very good grounding in faith because of the teachings of their kindergarten teachers. "They cannot go too wrong in their life!" They may go astray for a while but they all turn back and go the straight path in the end.
Another friend commented that a kindergarten must have a good yard for the kids to play in. Kids and play go hand in hand. They learn through play.
St.Columba's Kindergarten is one of the oldest kindergartens in Miri. Even the building it is housed in is very old and used to be the St.John's Anglican Church. It is older than the Heritage Building in fact. And its wooden structure should be preserved as a historical building for Miri.
People do not construct buildings like this any more. Perhaps one day it should be a special museum for the Anglican Church and pay tribute to those pioneers who saw the importance of sowing the seeds of learning.