About the Founder
Mrs Samia El-Ibiary, the Director, was born in Egypt. She started her early education at
the University of CaliforniaDepartment of Education Kindergarten in Berkeley. Later,
when her father Dr H.M. El-Ibiary became a professor at the University of Alexandria,
the family had to move to Egypt. There, Samia continued her education at two of the
best girl schools: the Sacred Heart and the English Girls’ College (E.G.C.).
While the former’s staff were Franciscan nuns, the latter was founded by the British Council.
Her education plan was designed by Samia’s parents who meant to implant in her how to
benefit from both conservation and modernism; and how to move from the former to
the later cautiously but effectively. Samia has always recalled the axiom
which she first heard from her father. “Do not be the last to give up the old, or the first to
adopt the new!”
From the University of Alexandria, Samia graduated with a B.A. degree in English
Language and Literature. In 1985, she obtained M.S. in Education from
Michigan State University in U.S.A. she also holds a certificate in Early Childhood
Education from the Institute of Education in Singapore.
Samia served as Vice President of the Association for Early Childhood Education (ACCE) in
Singapore. In collaboration with the ACCE colleagues, she contributed during her term of
service to areas of teacher education and training; as well as to upgrade the Association’s
Newsletter to a full magazine-like chronicle. She lectured for the Department of Extramural
of the National University of Singapore on topics such as Early Childhood and Children’s Art. She participated in the successful Assist Pilot Program by the National Council of Social Services in Singapore for the parents of handicapped children. She attends groups supporting these parents and offers advice of coping techniques.
The years of her teen age and university education which Samia spent in Alexandria had their impact on molding her personality as an educator. This ancient city which was founded in the fourth century B.C. by Alexander the Great has always been renowned for its cosmopolitan culture and extensive historical points of interest. One of the main effects on Samia was that travel became one of the great loves of her life. In addition to U.S.A., Egypt and Singapore, Samia travelled to England, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. In these travels she has always been keen to mix business, or rather pursuing her studies, with pleasure. So she cared to attend conferences on child education and visit distinguished preschools and kindergartens.
In 1961, Mrs El-Ibiary’s career in child education was initiated in Alexandria at the Home Craft Kindergarten. She taught second and thirds grades in U.S.A. In Singapore, she taught pre-school and kindergarten at the Singapore American School. In 1967, she established the first Early Learning Centre at Merryn Road which, because of its curriculum, staff and teaching-aid materials, quickly became popular and soon branched into two more centres at Jalan Mutiara and Choa Chu Kang Central.
No wonder, therefore, that this long career and vast experience have enabled Mrs El-Ibiary to formulate her rewarding philosophy of child education which materialized in the following four points :
Each child is unique and works at his/her own pace;
This philosophy should focus on enhancing self esteem and a positive attitude towards future learning;
A special attention is paid to internalizing expected behaviour as opposed to physical punishment; and
Recruiting the most capable teachers through medial advertisement and meticulous interview.
In June 1989, Mrs K.Mageswary joined Sam’s Early Learning Centre as a pre-school teacher. In 2013 Mrs Mageswary attained her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood from the SIM University. With 28 years of childcare experience and having raised two young children, Sharvini (18) now a student at NTU and Thayallen (15) at Secondary three. Both were students at Sam’s Early Learning Centre.
In 2016 Mrs Mageswary became co-owner of Sam’s Early Learning Centre.