Chapter 1-5: STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMME IN FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION (TECHNICAL) UMUNZE. ANAMBRA STATE.

Chapter 1-5: STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMME IN FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION (TECHNICAL) UMUNZE. ANAMBRA STATE.

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ABSTRACT

The research work has undertaken to find out the strategies for improving early childhood Education Programme in Federal college of Education (Technical) Umunze, Anambra State. The study was guided by four research questions. A survey research was conducted in department of early childhood education in Federal college of education. The population of the study includes two hundred and eight student (208) of year two and year three students of NCE; the sample comprised of 208 students. Also the 20 items questionnaires were used for the data collection.  The data collected and analyzed using mean as a statistical tool. Based on the findings, recommendations were made such as: Strategies for improving on early childhood education programme are; organizing workshops and seminars for teachers, government to allocate more funds for implementation of the programme, regular supervision by government and ministry, and providing instructional facilities, equipment and materials; The effect of inadequate number of qualified teachers on effective implementation of early childhood education programme are thus; lack of qualified teachers, insufficient number of teachers, lack of competent teachers, teachers of early childhood education are few in institution and most of the teachers are not specialist; The effect of non-availability of early childhood equipment / materials on the improvement of early childhood education are; equipment / materials used to improve the programme are inadequate, there are no enough classroom and conducive environment, and Government assist institution in provision of equipment / materials; The effect of poor Government funding of early childhood in the tertiary level on the development of early childhood Education programme are thus; government are expected to use motivating factors, lack of Government interest in implementation of early childhood Education in all tertiary institution and poor funding by the government.

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

Background of the Study

Education is a pivot on which the growth and development of any nation depends, thus every nation strive to educate her citizen, no matter the age. But, Eyetsemitan (2003) emphasized that education involves creating a wide range of opportunities for citizens for overall growth and efficiency. Education being an indispensable tool in nation building is a process of systematic training and instruction designed to transmit knowledge and acquisition of skills, potentials and abilities which will enable an individual to contribute efficiently to the growth and development of his society and nation. Osakwe (2006) states that it involves all round development of an individual’s; physically, socially, morally, intellectually and mentally.

Consequently, early childhood education is the education given in an educational institution to children prior to entering primary school (FRN 2004). Early childhood education according to Mezieobi (2006)is a formalized educational process to which children between the ages of two and half through five plus are subjected to in designated  pre-school institution.

Meanwhile, early years in life are most important to the formation of intelligence, personality and social behaviour of a child. The  years before a child reaches kindergarten are among the most critical period in his or her life in term of learning or assimilation of ideas, that is why modern societies show serious concern for the education of their young ones by providing needed support to prepare them to succeed later in school (Ejieh, 2006) it is common practices in most societies to make provision for early childhood education programmes of various sorts for children below the official school-going age (usually six years) mainly to prepare them for education in primary schools. (Obidike 2012).

Meanwhile, the federal government of Nigeria has given prominence in the National Policy on Education (FRN,2004) as one of the programmes in the educational system in view of its importance in the overall development of the child. Hence, the federal government implemented a low cost, community based and non-formal day care programme. Locally sourced educational materials are introduced to day care givers to provide avenues for cognitive, affective and psychomotor development of the child.(Zakariya 2012).

However, there is no doubt that the implementation of early childhood education requires the collaborative effort or inputs of all stake holders, including the government, parents and guardians, the school authorities. While the government is expected to provide necessary teaching and learning resources. Mahuta (2007), stated that the aim of ECE is to foster the proper development of the children, identify and address their problem, support their potentials, mould their character, personal, communal and global development in all ramifications of life.

In this regard, the responsibility of government on early childhood education according to the National Policy on Education (2004) shall be to promote the training of qualified early childhood education teachers, adequate numbers, contribute to the development of quality and suitable curriculum, among others. However, when a child is born into the world learning commences immediately to enable him get adopted to the new system. The child learns to feed, hear, see and respond to stimuli, before learning to sit, walk, talk and behave like people around him. Hence, day to day fluctuations in a child’s behaviour may be expected as he strives between dependency of infancy and the dependency of childhood.

Early childhood institutions aim at developing the cognitive and affective potential at an early age. Academic achievement is one of the main benefits of early childhood learning. According to Anderson (2002) is of the view that when children are exposed to early childhood education, they develop superior communication skills, physical ability, social unity and gross motor skills which will help them in adult life. Early childhood education prepares and give children necessary skills for primary level.

Statement of the Problem

The early childhood programme is faced with challenges of providing quality training of teachers and recruitment of enough teachers on a continual basis, provision of learning materials that are age appropriate, a national accepted curriculum for teaching the children designed by educational authorities or curriculum planners as well as poor funding by the government.

According to Akudoly (2002), these  problems include epileptic power supply, lack of technical support staff, poor funding. E.t.c. In view of these militating factors, it becomes necessary that some strategies be devised to overcome these obstacles that besiege the improvement of early childhood education programme.

Ezena (2004), it is obvious that enough provision are not made for staff development. By many ways; students leave grants, in-service training and retraining of the staff in the institutions. Also, the shortage of equipment / materials can pose a problem in the teaching of early childhood education in most tertiary institutions for training.

Finally, low level of funding of early childhood education programme on the part of the government as well as the society has been a problem militating against the implementation of quality teaching and learning. In addition to lack of equipment, accommodation, e.t.c. base on the forgoing, this study was designed to identify the strategies for improving early childhood education programme in Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to investigate the strategies for improving early childhood education programme in Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze (F.C.E.(T)). In the following ways;

  1. Find out the strategies of improving early childhood education programme
  2. Find out the effect of inadequate number of teachers on the effective implementation of early childhood programme.
  3. Find out the effect of non-availability of early childhood equipment / materials on the improvement of early childhood education programme.
  4. Find out the effect of poor government funding of early childhood education in the tertiary level on the development of early childhood education programmes.

Significance of the Study

The study is designed to develop the strategies for improving early childhood education programme in Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze. The findings of the study will be of immense benefit to all the stake holders in the following ways.

  1. The teachers will benefit immensely from the findings of the study as it would expose them to the various ways and methods available for improving early childhood education.
  2. The students will also benefit from the finding of the study. This is because an appropriate strategy employed in the course of improvement will facilitate understanding and improve its outcome in teaching learning process.
  3. It will also help the curriculum planners, who may be in the need of resource materials upon which to work on will benefit from it as it will provide them with empirical basis for references and well broaden their knowledge as they work on their own area of interest.
  4. The study will also benefit the parent and society in the sense that they are motivated to contribute financially to ensure that quality education is given to their children.
  5. More so, the government, it will encourage them to improve the programme by providing equipment and materials for the running of early childhood education programme.

Scope of the Study

The study is limited to strategies for improving early childhood education programme in Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze.

Research Question

The following research questions shall be used to guide the study.

  1. What are the effective strategies for improving on early childhood education programme?
  2. What are the effects of inadequate provision of teachers on the improvement of early childhood education programme?
  3. What are the effects of non availability of early childhood equipment / materials on the improvement of early childhood programme?

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