Meenachi Jebalal is the Vice Principal of AMKFSC Community Services’ Spright Academy, a student care service that supports the socio-emotional learning and intellectual development of children between 7 and 14 years old. Every child she meets is unique and this has contributed to a career of varied experiences.
In pursuit of progress
Starting out as a child-care assistant teacher, Meenachi has progressed in her career and is now the Vice Principal of Spright Academy. She also managed to complete a Diploma in Early Childhood while she was employed, and actively applies her learnings in her daily work. “It is a pleasure providing student care services for children on behalf of their families. In addition to that, my responsibilities include programme planning, curriculum development, staff supervision and implementation of health and safety procedures for the centre too,” she explains.
Different children, different needs
Spright Academy caters to children between the ages of 7 and 14, providing holistic care and a safe learning environment that supports their social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth through a wide range of programmes and activities. “Every day is different and interesting, because we support children from all walks of life and need to engage them in unique ways. The parents are always grateful that we can look after their children with such patience. Often, I am also required to look into the children’s behavioural and psychological aspects and therefore, work closely with their families as well as Social Workers,” says Meenachi. She remembers caring for a Primary 1 child with special needs, who was not accepted by his peers due to his lack of social skills. Meenachi initiated a discussion with his parents on how they could come together to support him. Eventually, they observed tremendous improvement in the child and he went on to settle well in the centre and at school.
Given the unique scenarios she encounters, her role naturally calls for her to possess a variety of qualities. “Firstly, you need passion. It motivates you to continue learning and enables new experiences – both of which are important for job satisfaction. You also have to be committed, stay optimistic and be mindful of those around you,” she reveals. It helps of course, that Meenachi loves working with children and wants to do more to create a better environment for them. As such, she hopes to pursue a Degree in either Counselling or Social Work in the near future.
Meenachi’s family has stood by her right from the start. “I owe it to them for supporting and comforting me. They have always motivated me to do better and have seen me grow in my career. They make me want to give my best,” she says with joy. She is also thankful for her family of colleagues at work who play a major role in empowering her to do her job well.
A role in centre management is one of many in Social Service. To find out more, read about a career in services and programme management..