IMPACT OF EDUCATION PROGRAMMES ON PRE – SCHOOL CHILDREN ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN IDO/OSI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE
Background of the Study
The early childhood years have been universally recognized as crucial years for laying the foundation. The significance of education during these early years of life hardly needs to be emphasized, today researchers have proved that this is the most impressionable period of one life (Amandeeep and Jaswal, 2001). Impressions gained at this tender age have a far reaching effect on life. It is therefore, essential that a rich environment be provided to the child during this period of his growth and development.
Educationally, the period of early childhood is believed to be very important. It is known by different nomenclatures such as pre-school education, nursery school, etc. Early childhood education can be defined as the education provided to children from 3 to 6 year of age. Oduolowu, (2006) sees this unique field as a branch of knowledge and an essential component of all family and programme arrangement for young children from birth to the statutory school age of six. In the present investigation, early childhood education has been referred to as the education provided by the nursery school, which intendeds to prepare children between 3 to 4 years of age for admission to formal school, i.e., for kindergarten. The main aim of such schools is to stimulate the holistic development of the child, which include physical, social language, intellectual and moral developments.
This necessitates the provision of good facilities for education outside home. Many studies have revealed that experience in early childhood education has positive impact on the overall development of the child and the children had positive attitude toward classroom activities (Schechan, 1991, Vijayaktader, 1993, and Dhillon, 1997). This underscores the importance of total development in children and the imperative of early childhood education in catering to the developmental needs of child.
The period from birth to the age of six often referred to in educational contexts of early-childhood, as the most rapid period of development in human life. In developmental psychology, it is generally accepted that the various domains of child development are interconnected and influence one another. This underscores the importance of total development in children and the imperative of early childhood education in catering to the developmental needs of the child.
Development includes the process by which an organism grows from foetus in the womb to an adult, processes that includes predictable changes in biological maturation, physical structure, behavior and thinking. Some researchers think of development as a series of small and gradual continuous steps that blend into each other, just as a babbling sound of ‘’mma, mma’’ becomes a call for ‘’mama’’. Others thinks of development as a series of distinct stages that are qualitatively different from each other, just as walking is significantly different from crawling. Some researchers focus primarily within the ‘interactions’ tradition that conceives development as located within the nested social context (Nigerian National Policy on Education, 4th edition, 2004). Thus, development is constrained and elaborated by cultural contexts and by the architecture of the brain. These nested social contexts include the impact of close family on development and therefore underscores the vital role of parents in supporting children’s learning.
Some Nigerian children lack quality home learning environment because of social gap that is related to income and parental education. Some children experience some kind of home stimulation provided by their advantaged parents while those children who do not experience this of stimulation can be supported through early years learning and programmes. It is very pertinent to consider the Nigerian’s child processes of development (cognitive, social, emotional, moral and brain development) and the best supportive contexts for children’s early learning and development children must be provided with experience and support which will help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and for others, respect for others, social skills, and a positive position to learn.
Perceptions are very personal and can be defined as a mental process in which the mind considers number of aspects simultaneously to make up complete and whole objects. In the presents study, ‘perception’ has been defined as opinions of parents and teachers of pre-schools with regard to early childhood education. The parents blame the schools for insisting upon a vast syllabus whereas schools hold the parent responsible for the burden on the child as the parent which to secure admission of their ward in a good school and the vicious circle goes on. In order to understand how today education is is influencing the child’s development, it is essential to look at the concept, objectives, contents and methods of nursery school education as perceived by the child educations parents and teachers.
Educational programmes are written programme by the institution or ministry of education which determine the learning process of formal education. Educational progrmmes facilitates children‘s development. Educational programmes help children in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. Educational programmes supports children’s learning through offering opportunities for them to use a range of tools safely, encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their naturals environments and in real life situations, undertake practical experiments and work with range of materials.
Educational programme creates an active learning environment for young children and consciously meets the cognitive, social, emotional, physical, moral development needs of a child. Educational programmes for a child is the comfort and confidence to grow and develop. Educational programmes of schools should be that which inculcates moral and spiritual principle in interpersonal and human relations, promote the cognitive, physical, emotional and psychological development of all children. Dissatisfaction with the educational programme in one school usually causes parents to look for better alternatives for their children which can promote their development. Early childhood education is to effect a smooth transition from the home to the school, provide adequate care and supervision for the children while their parents are at work, this inculcate social norm, develop a sense of co-operation, team-spirit, good habit, teach rudiments, forms, letters, etc. through play (Nigerian National Policy on Education, 4th edition, 2004). Therefore any educational programmes developed for the child. Education must be that which can lead to the optimum development of the child.
Amandeep and Jaswal, (2001) asserted that educational programme on pre-school children are very important and essential activities in a nursery school as these bring about the intellectual, emotional and social development of the child. However parents and teachers were inappropriate in their perception as they think that a child is too young to understand the nature around him. In order to achieve the objective of holistic development of children and to bring about their physical, social, emotional, cognitive and aesthetic growth, variety of play activities should be planned in pre-school. Play activities like songs, music and dance, storytelling, clay and sand play, drawing and painting, doll and block corners in a nursery school programme should be considered essential by the school planners.
Teachers’ perception on preschool maintained that the first year of school is identified as a period of importance in shaping subsequent achievement in performance. Borrowman (2009) believed that children’s success in school is greatly influenced by their early educational experiences. Children who develop an interest in learning before they enter primary school are more likely to do better at school than those who have not had the opportunity to receive pre-school education.
Winkins (2005) believed that the teacher should have only concern – the academic development of the children under his/her care, in order to promote their growth and achievement. He believed that teaching involves the interaction of so many personal and professional elements that is impossible to arate them.
Teachers’ perceptions have an enormous effect on the successful implementation of quality education in schools, quality of teaching and quality of learning.
Statement of the Problem
Educational programmes in schools should be that which inculcates moral and spiritual principle in interpersonal and human relations, promote the cognitive, physical emotional and psychological development of all children. Desertification with the educational programme in schools usually causes parents to look for better alternatives for their children which can promote their development. Therefore any educational programmes developed for the child education must be that of which can lead to the optimum development of the child.
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