PRE-SCHOOL TAMIL ENRICHMENT PROGRAMME TO BENEFIT PRE-SCHOOLERS
The pre-school Tamil Enrichment Programme that has been launched to familiarise Tamil pre-schoolers with their mother tongue is progressing well.
Initiated by the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) on July 1, the programme has seen taken in 250 children for its 20-week course.
SINDA is a self-help group, started in 1991, to tackle educational and socio-economic needs of the Indian community in Singapore.
According to SINDA’s executive, Mr Anbarasu Ranjendran, English has become the lingua franca of Tamil households due to the diverse social set-up. Therefore, Tamil usage at homes has also reduced significantly.
In the 250 children who have enrolled in the programme, 40% of them are not acquainted with the Tamil language in their school or at home. SINDA is looking into conducting a study with the programme participants to analyse the lack of Tamil at home.
The Tamil Enrichment Programme runs annually for kindergarteners and is held in 11 locations with plans to expand the programme to more branches.
Although it costs each child $450, the cost is heavily subsidised by SINDA. Children coming from families with a per capita income of up to $1,000 will be enrolled into the programme for free. Those from families with a per capita income of more than $1,000 will only have to pay $10.