EFFECTS OF NURSERY EDUCATION ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF PUPILS IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
Background to the study
Nursery education is the foundation of learning because children who have a weak learning foundationcan hardly perform as exceptionally intelligent students in their entire academic life circle. It is at this earlystage of learning that children are developed for higher academic exercises. The foundation of education of the is the preschools education which forms an integral part of his or her early education which may be formalor informal, usually given in an educational institution to children aged 1 to 5+ prior to their entering the primary school. This educational level of the child provides for the physical, motor, health, nutritional, intellectual,aesthetic, emotional and social development of the pre-school child. If child education can provide these vital necessities which are fundamental in human life, it is not therefore unlikely to have an important and strong relationship with the pupils’ performance at the primary school level and perhaps at the secondary and tertiary levels Nakpodia (2011). Learning apart from a very rigorous exercise is procedural. If a child gets a particular step wrong or did not even get it at all, it becomes a very big problem to such a child. This makes nursery education very essential for the overall development of the education sub-sector. Nakpodia arguing further on the importance of early education maintained that the Universal Basic Education Act of 2000 cites Early Childhood Education (ECE), which has to do with pre-primary education given to children between ages one to five, as an integral part of basic education. It represents the first important step in achieving the goals of Education for All (EFA). The scholars notes that since it is the foundation for a life-long education, government is expected to be actively involved in providing it for the younger children but regretted that evidence on the ground has shown that parents, private individuals, religious bodies constitute the largest proprietorship of ECE, while governmentagencies provide a paltry 10%. Nakpodia and Achugbue(2012) summaries early education thus:Formal education begins from nursery or pre-primary education which is the education given in day carecenters and nursery schools to children aged between 0 to 6 years. It is enriched by the informal traditional upbringing given to the children of age 0 to 3 years which prepares them for school. The government is not directly involved in the establishment of day care centers and nursery schools.Closely related to nursery or early education is the primary education. In some schools, both are operatedtogether and this partly explains why we have names like, international Nursery and primary school, Akpainursery and primary school among others. Primary education is the second most important stage of learning. Atthis stage of learning, school children begin to show very clear signs of the level of their intellectual capability and in some cases, the areas they are very good at. It is the stage of learning where the foundation that was builtat the nursery level starts unveiling. It is important to add here that even though it is the general perception that nursery and primary education are very essential and complement each other, very little studies have been conducted to determine the value of nursery education to primary school pupils.
Nursery Education or pre-primary education in Nigeria in the submission of UNESCO (1998) relatively new and remains only at semi-official level in the education system. It is not yet a part but has been left to private enterprise and initiative. It is quite expensive and better organized pre-primary schools are the exclusive preserve of the rich and the elite in society. Structurally, the educational pyramid in Nigeria is an awkward structurally with a very conical apex all these standing on small page of pre-primary or nursery education.
Nursery schools and day care centres have existed side by side with primary schools for many decades in Nigeria.Their existence has been acknowledged by succession government but they have never been included in the budget of any government in the federation. Government see their role at this level of education as mainly regulatory rather than financially supportive in terms of inputs.
Education of children from the ages of 3-5 years is left in the hands of private organization and sometimes the communities.
Nevertheless, the variation is the degree of performance pupils in primary one who once graduated from nursery education becomes paramount to this study undoubtedly the amount parents spend on a child in nursery school is enormous the justification of the huge amount spent is the possible difference in performance identification in all its ramifications from the performance of pupils who just entered the school for the first time when his or her age was five or six years.
Statement of the problem
Nursery education as an important component of the educational system plays a significant role in the determination of a child’s academic performance in primary school. Nursery education is expected to equip a child with the necessary norms and values of life, but it is faced with these challenges. Nursery education should have the capacity of placing a child on a good academic plane before his/her primary level. It is indeed the pivot around which every academic activity revolves.
The argument that female children seem to be brighter in academics looks real but critical analysis reveals that boys tend to outwit the girls later in their academic lives. This could be attributed to some natural and physical factors such as: problems of early childhood growth and development, varying strength, effect of rural and urban areas.
The following research question were raised to guide the study
- What are the effect of nursery education on children academic performance
- What are the attitude of parents towards nursery education
- Is there any difference in the cognitive ability between pupils who pass through nursery schools and does without nursery school?
Objectives of the Study
The major objective of this study is to determine the effect of nursery education on pupils academic performance.
The purpose of the study is to:
- Investigate the effect of nursery education on academic performance of primary school pupils
- Examine the effect of cognitive ability of pupils with nursery education experience.
- Ascertain the differences between academic performance of children with nusery education and those without nursery education experience.
Significance of the Study
This study will attempt to illuminate the effect of early childhood education experience on the academic performance of primary school education. It will also do within the framework of this study to look to into the issue of streaming, in our school, if the pupils are to benefit from learning experiences. The result of this study I hope will be of immense benefits to teachers, syllabus designers, education administration and policy makers.
It is expected that the researcher’s finding will be appropriate to improve teaching techniques in pre-primary and primary school education. It will also serve as a boost to the development of academic performance of pre-primary and primary education.
Scope Of The Study
This study focused on the effect of early childhood education on the academic performance of primary school children in Ado local government Area of Ekiti state.
The researcher is familiar with the selected three(3) public and two (2) private schools and it will ,make it easier for her to collect enough data in the course of the study.
Definition Of Terms
Childhood: the state of a child between infancy and adolescence or time of person’s life when they are a child.
Academic performance: The level of act or performance or doing successfully using knowledge as distinguished from merely possessing it in academic as academic or any recognized accomplishment in academic.
Education: The activity of educating or instructing activities that impart knowledge or skills, the profession of teaching (especially at school, college or university.)
Childhood Education: The result of good upbringing (especially knowledge of correct social behavior) of a child between infancy and puberty (the early stages of development of a child)
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