Director General of Non-formal Education, Ministry of National Education, Hamid Muhammad, Ph.D., says early childhood education was instrumental in the effort to prepare optimal child growth and development. As the foundation of education, early childhood education is also able to increase children's participation in education.
Given the importance, the government has established various policies and strategies to develop them. The policies is aimed at establishing education that is righteous, valuable, and relevant to the needs of the community. "The Government makes an effort to establish the availability of early education services that is accessible and affordable by all levels of society. In addition, the government also seeks to guarantee the certainty of each member of the public in obtaining services as a provision to continue their education to the next level," explained Hamid at the Faculty of Psychology UGM, Monday (17/5).
In a seminar on Early Children in Education Multicultural Perspectives: Multicultural Approach in Improving the Quality of Early Childhood Education, Hamid said the establishment of early childhood development in Indonesia besides toÂ comprehensively develop the intelligence potential and creativity of children, it also aims to prepare the children to attend the next level education. "Therefore, starting this year early childhood education development is established through an integrated holistic approach. In this case, it does not only emphasize on the educational aspect alone. Conversely, it also includes nutrition services, health, parenting, and child protection aspects," he explained.
He added, since Indonesia consists of many ethnic groups, religions and cultures, the development policy requires the internalization of the cultural wisdom values in the parenting process and child protection services. "Preparing children with multicultural conception as early as possible becomes very important to ensure a tolerant character of a child who has the confidence as an excellent and dignified nation," he explained.
Meanwhile, Supra Wimbarti, M.Sc., Ph.D., lecturer of Faculty of Psychology UGM, said the development of pluralistic cultural education in early childhood level is an urgent need to be done. The reason is that the awareness of self-existence has begun since the child is infantile. Along with age, the child will have a bigger social circle. "So, it is very appropriate if the pluralistic cultural education is associated with early childhood education, because at this period the basic values of humanity are laid," she explained. In her opinion, pluralistic cultural education can be given to children in many ways, such as through artistry. Storytelling is one powerful medium to transfer the values in family and society.