Home / EDUCATION PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS / PRESCHOOL CHILDREN‘S CLASSIFICATION SKILLS AND MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION INTERVENTION TO PROMOTE ACCEPTANCE OF ETHNIC DIVERSITY

PRESCHOOL CHILDREN‘S CLASSIFICATION SKILLS AND MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION INTERVENTION TO PROMOTE ACCEPTANCE OF ETHNIC DIVERSITY

PRESCHOOL CHILDREN‘S CLASSIFICATION SKILLS AND MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION INTERVENTION TO PROMOTE ACCEPTANCE OF ETHNIC DIVERSITY

 

PROJECTPLUS EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT

ON

PRESCHOOL CHILDREN‘S CLASSIFICATION SKILLS AND MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION INTERVENTION TO PROMOTE ACCEPTANCE OF ETHNIC DIVERSITY

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

Education in the 21st century is a basic need. Interestingly many people perceive education as a right of both children and adults. As regards the issue of quality delivery, the foundation level of education is crucial anywhere in the world. In Nigeria, the educational system has witnessed a catalogue of changes in policies and programmes. Some of the changes have appeared to a number of people as desirable while one continues to wonder why some of the other changes were ever initiated. This has resulted in a series of policy somersaults and disruption of academic calendars at all levels of learning throughout the country. Worse hit by all these is the pre-primary level of education where there is no visible government involvement whether in supervision, inspection or funding. Early childhood/pre-primary education is designed for preschoolers or those children who are not up to primary school age in Nigeria. Asaya, Ehigie and Igbinoghene (2006) assert that it is the education which is given in an educational institution to children aged 2 to 5 plus prior to their entering the primary school. Although this assertion is, to a great extent, consistent with that of the National Policy on Education (NPE) in Nigeria, some pre-primary education facility providers admit less than 6-month old children into their schools.

A child is a young human being between birth and puberty; a son or daughter of human parents (Encarta, 2009). It follows therefore that whatever a child experiences between birth and puberty constitute his/her childhood. Naturally too, we have early childhood (birth to about 5 years), mid childhood (6 to about 11 years) and late childhood (12 to about 18 years) phases of children’s growth and development. Scientists agree that the early childhood stage of life is crucial to the all round development of any human being. In this regard, Awake! (2004) asserts that “studies indicate that early childhood is a critical time for developing the brain functions necessary to handle information, express emotions normally, and become proficient in language”. The form of education given to a child at this phase of development is called the early childhood/preschool/pre-primary education.

At this stage, a child’s health, intellect, personality, character, emotional stability, to mention a few, is moulded. Hence, the necessity of adopting adequate/appropriate teaching methods in teaching children in the first five years of life is incontrovertible. Like young plants, children develop and thrive when nurtured with regular, loving attention. Water and sunlight nourish a young plant and stimulate healthy and stable growth. By the same token, a child who is showered with verbal and physical expressions of love/training would enjoy stable mental and emotional growth. Some child-development scholars have identified and associated this type of early childhood training with counselling. Perhaps, this is because teaching involves some level of counselling. In fact, they conceptualize counselling as a process in which one person (a teacher or a childminder or even a parent) assist another person (a child) in a person-to-person or face-to-face encounter (Eduwen, 1994; Aluede, McEachern and Kenny, 2005). They further posit that this assistance may take many forms: it may be vocational, social, recreational, emotional and/or moral. Whatever form it takes, the idea of “play” is central when it comes to early childhood training. This is probably why the National Policy on Education (NPE) in Nigeria stressed the deployment of the “play” concept in the passing of instructions to preschoolers/pupils at the pre-primary level of education.  It recommends that early childhood education facility providers must ensure that the main method of teaching at this level should be through play (2004).

Unfortunately, there is no organized pre-primary education sector in Nigeria and the few agencies/organizations that currently run pre-primary education facilities operate without putting the tender age of the children into consideration. The children are constantly exposed to materials that are way beyond their abilities and capabilities. To worsen the issue the government does not even play the critical supervisory role it ought to play at this level of education. In this regard, the Communiqué of the National Forum for Policy Development Workshop on National Education Reforms (2007) notes that: At this level, there is no government involvement in supervision and funding. Children aged between 2 and 5 years who should be in school at the pre-primary level are about sixteen (16) million but only 1 million are in school, representing 6.25%.

Though the primary, post primary and tertiary levels of education receive some attention, the negative rub off from the pre-primary level which is the foundation tend to adversely affect learning activities at these other higher levels of education. Besides, the inconsistencies in educational policies and programmes have also taken its toll on the educational infrastructure in Nigeria. This may have informed the lamentation of Aluede (2006) that the many changes in educational policies in Nigeria are products of confusion.  There is therefore, a high level of uncertainties which is beclouding meaningful planning in Nigeria’s educational system. This could be very dangerous, particularly as the future of Nigeria and Nigerians will ultimately be determined by the level of education its nationals have acquired. However, this paper is primarily concerned with the foundation level of education which is usually called the pre- primary or early childhood education sector in Nigeria. It adopts the analytical approach to examine the activities in this sector vis-a-vis government’s nonchalance and canvasses the need to reposition the sector using the children’s theatre approach. The paper concludes that such an option would not only supplement existing curriculum to make that level of education work for better quality delivery, it would make teaching and learning pleasurable and entertaining for both the teachers and the children . As a way of furthering this discussion, it is germane that we examine the nature and purpose of early childhood education in Nigeria.

PROJECTPLUS  EDUCATION PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN‘S CLASSIFICATION SKILLS AND MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION INTERVENTION TO PROMOTE ACCEPTANCE OF ETHNIC DIVERSITY

 

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