A Waldorf Kindergarten in Malaysia
Malaysia: The Waldorf Kindergarten Taska Nania was created in 1997 and expanded in 2002 at new premises. It then added a new group and since then the initiative offers a group for English- and one for Japanese-speaking children. Not only children benefit from the Waldorf curriculum, as the parents get involved as well and participate in craft classes on Saturdays and work in groups on various topics.
Malaysia – located between Thailand (mainly Buddhist), Indonesia (Muslim), The Philippines (Catholic), India and right at the door of the empowered Republic of China, as well as being a major trading partner of the United States – consists of countless influences and yet is proud of its own identity.
The Taska Nania Kindergarten began its work in 1997 with a small group. In 2002 the initiative was able to move and form two groups of Japanese-and English-speaking children.
The current developments do not even come to a stop when it comes to the universe of childhood, as Junko, a kindergarten teacher of Taska Nania, needs to realize ever so often. More and more parents bring up the topic, as they are worried about the future of their children, because in a Waldorf kindergarten intellectual standards are not the same as in a regular kindergarten, i.e. the initiative does not work with computers etc.
Therefore, Junko has to explain to the parents how important free playtime is for kids. She then often talks about the fact that the world of very young children is characterized by the belief in the good and faith in the people around them, that they learn by imitation and they need all their forces to explore their environment. At the same time they live through a phase of rapid biological development, which requires many forces. With the mixed dentition between six and seven years, the children are finally ready to take up new intellectual content.
These are suggestions with which parents are being introduced to Waldorf education, as they illustrate the significance of rhythm, games and creative thinking. The small children should receive the maximum support and time to explore the world, in order to develop into healthy people.
The daily routine is rhythmically structured and over the course of the week supplemented by bread baking, watercolor painting, clay modeling and handicrafts. The celebration of 15 annual festivals, and the various birthdays crown the circle of the year in kindergarten. The time, which the children spend at Taska Nania, is a special one and this proves itself again and again, when young people or adults return as visitors and have learned to deeply appreciate what they have been offered here.