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Over-schooling at the pre-primary school is a serious violation of the provisions of National Policy on Education. It is seen as over burdening, over tasking and over tutoring of the preprimary
school children. The study was carried out to ascertain the perception of parents on over schooling of these young children using Onitsha educational zone as the area of study. Five research questions and two null hypotheses were formulated while a descriptive survey design was employed. The population of the study was made up of 2,440 parents of young children who attend private pre-primary schools in the Onitsha educational zone. Parents’ Perception on Over schooling of Children Questionnaire (PPOCQ) was used for data collection. The questionnaire was validated by three experts while the trial testing was done outside the area of study.

Cronbach alpha method was used to establish the internal consistency of
the instrument. Data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics (mean and standard
deviation) and t-test statistic was used to test the hypotheses formulated to guide this study. The
findings of the research showed that there was over-schooling at this level of education,
but unfortunately the parents were ignorant of its negative influences on the young children. The
study recommended among other things that parents should be part of the decision making body
of the pre-primary schools, that is, being part of the Parent-Teacher Association of the schools.


Background of the Study

The concept of a child differs from one culture to another. Some cultures regard one as a child if one is not married, no matter one’s age. According to Opara (2012), a child is a young person, especially between infancy and youth. In the Nigerian Legal system, a child is one that is below the age of 18 years. This is because the person cannot vote or be voted for. He/she is not also qualified to drive. This is in line with article 1 of the Convention on the Right of the Child by United Nations. Furthermore, Umobi and Igu (2010) define a child as a boy or a girl at any age between infancy and adolescence, a new infant, or a person of any age in relation to his parents.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) in her National Policy on Education posits that the pre-primary school child falls within the age bracket of 0-6 years while Maduewesi (1999) views pre-primary school children as young children between 2-5 years engaged in specially designed academic programmes before the age of formal schooling. It is necessary that all who are involved in the education of the child understand and get acquinted with the pre-primary school child.

The pre-primary school children possess certain characteristics which are peculiar to them. According to Abidoye and Agusiobo (2000), these pre-school children are egocentric. That is, they view the world from their own perspectives. They are curious in nature. Their world is filled with excitement. The curiosity varies according to the center of interest at any given time.

The children love exploration and in fact, they are investigators. Their love for exploration is demonstrated in their spoiling of new toys and trying to put them together again. Abidoye and
Agusiobi(2000) see the children as being energetic and because of this, they cannot sit still for
long periods of time. They prefer to do things than listen. Even while listening, they move their
bodies restlessly. These pre-school children like to achieve their objectives.

They often spend unusual length of time and efforts to solve problems that interest them.
Problem solved gives them a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Hence, they
are persistent. More interestingly, children are valuable assets from God

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