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Close Up Nina Ismail Sabri tangibilises her love for kids through Peterana Kindergarten

Nina Ismail Sabri tangibilises her love for kids through Peterana Kindergarten

Nina Ismail Sabri
By Karmun Ng
January 27, 2016

As Peterana approaches its 3rd anniversary this May, its founder Nina Ismail Sabri takes the time to speak to us about how the boutique kindergarten stands out from the many others out there.

Our January 2016 cover star Nina Ismail Sabri is quite a woman to be reckoned with. She is headstrong and determined yet gets her way through a gentlest genial manner that makes it impossibly difficult for one to say no to her.

In her feature interview, she lists many things as her passions – true to her dynamic, go-getter personality – but one aspect that stood out most vividly to us is her love for children. 

“I love kids,” she never tires of saying. “When I was in high school, I was part of my school’s Interact Club that let me visit many orphanages and interact with children. I was exposed to them from a very young age and from there I realised my love for working with children.”

It is no surprise then that her first big venture the moment she graduates would be a boutique kindergarten in the heart of Lucky Garden, Bangsar.

Peterana Kindergarten may be a new brand but it has slowly but surely garnered a following among parents for its effective integrated learning system catered for different age groups.

As Peterana approaches its 3rd anniversary this May, Nina takes the time to speak to us about how it stands apart from the many others out there.


An intimate space for learning

Unlike most kindergartens, Peterana keeps the maximum number of children to only 8 per class so each child gets fair attention from his or her teacher. This is important to Nina as she understands that each child grows, physically and cognitively, at different paces. 

“Whenever we have more than 8 students, we add the number of teachers,” she tells. “With fewer students, it is easier for the teachers to concentrate on each child’s strengths and work on their weaknesses.” 


A fun place for expressing oneself 

The curriculum at Peterana leans towards a play-based learning concept, which Nina believes is the best way to get a child to absorb lessons, given their short attention-span. Facilitating that are concept classrooms, built with fun futuristic, theatre, retro, even airplane themes.

“We don’t believe in just one way to teach. I believe that different methods work for different ages and subjects. For example, if you were using the Montessori method, that’s great for kids between 2-3 years old but at 5-6, you’re preparing them to enter Standard 1, so you need a more classroom style approach.” 


An assured brand for a holistic education 

Aside from the schoolwork, Nina intends for Peterana to also be a place where a child fosters confidence and self esteem. Drama, theatre and speech classes are also offered by teachers who go through intense screening before being allowed on board.

“Our educators need a minimum of a degree. If they have a diploma, they will require at least a 3 year minimum teaching experience. We also have internship students coming in and fresh grads, but only for teaching assistants positions.”


A brand that reaches for the stars

A woman like Nina isn’t one to rest on her laurels so it's only natural that plans for expansions are already underway. She’s not looking at just a few extra franchises either.

“We have been talking to companies to open in their buildings," she shares, adding that the move would be to integrate with the company as part of their benefits for childcare for employees. "We have been approached by Universiti Malaya, among others.” 

Running any educational institute is hard work, what more a kindergarten, but Nina is confident in her brand. "I believe education is really important. It is the stepping stone foundation for anyone. I am confident with my brand because we have something that is different.”


For more information on Peterana Kindergarten and how to enroll, log on to the official website here.

(Photos: Peterana Kindergarten) 

Another institution that values education above everything else: PrepWorks by Tamara Lim that helps students get into the universities of their dreams. 

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Close Up education Nina Ismail Sabri Peterana Kindergarten Early Childhood Education

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