KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — The prime minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was conferred a Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Early Childhood Education by the World Chinese Economic Summit (WCES) today.
The award was presented to her by WCES chairman Tan Sri Michael Yeoh, who is also Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) chief executive officer, here.
Rosmah said children were important assets to any nation and in them lay a firm foundation for a sustainable peaceful world.
“However, we will never reach real peace if children are exposed to violence, conflict and war. If we do not teach them peace, compassion and respect for life, someone else will teach them violence and hatred,” she said in her acceptance speech.
She said it was therefore crucial to educate children to develop a global vision of peace, non-violence, social justice, human rights, democracy, cultural diversity and environmental awareness so that they would be better positioned to make the world a better place to live in.
Rosmah said it was important to invest in quality education from early childhood as children at a young age need to learn listening, dialogue and mediate in resolving problems, disputes and conflicts.
She said education must be inclusive and develop all tallents and it must ensure all individuals including those with special learning needs and the marginalised were enabled to their maximum potential.
Thus, the Permata programme was initiated by her in 2005, to uncover and nurture the enormous and invaluable potential inherent in all children.
“Permata is about developing the child’s cognitive, physical, emotional, ethical, spiritual and behavioural development as well as social attachment as a total balanced being,” she said.
Sharing her 11-year journey with Permata, Rosmah said it has not been without challenges as people continue to be sceptical.
“But, despite the reistance I persevere as I know what I am doing and I believe in it. The fact is simple and clear.
“Children are our greatest assets. The future of a country depends on how we treat and educate children and the values we instil in them. WCES is the world’s leading annual summit promoting closer linkages between the global economic community and China, South-east Asia and the global Chinese diaspora. —Bernama