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Influence of Nursery Education on Pupils Academic Achievement in Primary Schools

Influence of Nursery Education on Pupils Academic Achievement in Primary Schools 

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Abstract

This research work “influence of nursery education on the academic performance of Primary school pupils” is aimed at highlighting the impacts of nursery education on pupils. That is to say whether pupils who attended nursery school before primary run a better change of performing better than those who did not have the chance of attending nursery school in Ijebu East and Ijebu North local government areas both in Ogun State.

A total number of 160 primary one pupils were randomly selected from 4 public primary schools in Ogun State. The main instrument used for the study was an achievement test comprising of two subjects, Mathematics, and English Language to test the cognitive abilities and social skills of primary school pupils. Four research questions and four hypotheses guided this study.

The major instrument used for collecting data was a questionnaire. The data collected were analyzed through the use of simple average mean score. It was discovered that nursery education has a great impact on performance of primary school pupils. Most meaningful and lasting learning takes place when all the necessary things are positively put in place. Problems facing by nursery education is as a result of lack of qualified teachers in adequate learning materials. On this basis of such findings, recommendation were made that, governments should be involved in the development of nursery education in the Nigerian system of education.

Influence of Nursery Education on Pupils Academic Achievement in Primary Schools 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Education being an indispensable tool in nations building is a process of systematic training and  instruction  designed  to  transmit  knowledge  and  acquisition  of  skills  potentials  and  also abilities which will enable an individual to contribute efficiently to the growth and development of his society and nation.  It involves all round development of an individual social, physical, moral and intellectually (Osakwe, 2006). It is therefore glaring that early childhood education has influence in a child later academic achievement. This has motivated the development of a number of pre-school institutions.

More recently, formal kindergarten programmes have been designed to prevent high drop-out and low levels of intellectual functioning that are found in disadvantaged  children  as  early  as  two  or    three  years  of  age  (Fafunwa,  2012).  Ministry  of Education  knowing  extensively  the  importance  of  nursery  education  on  the  academic performance of pupils in Nigeria and in the world at large.

Nursery  education  as  defined  by  Omozeghian  (2014)  is  the  education  meant  for  children between the ages of 3-5. The National policy on education (2014) sees pre-primary education as the education given in an institution to children aged 3-5 years plus prior to their entering the primary school.

It means it is a special kind of education provided in an institution prior the children entering the primary school. Having known the importance of pre-school or nursery education, the government encouraged private efforts in the establishment of these institutions.  Also, in recent years the government sponsors the pre-primary school levels in public primary school in the country (Nigeria).

Learning according  to  Osakwe  (2006)  is  a  natural  process  of  pursuing  meaningful  goals, discovering  and  constructing  meaning  from  information  and  experience  filtered  through  the learners  unique  perceptions,  thoughts,  and  feelings.    Hence, when the child is born into the world   learning   commences   immediately   to   enable   the   child   get   adapted   to   the   new environment.  The child learns to feed, hear, see and respond to stimuli, before learning to sit, walk, talk and behave like people around him.  The drive for curiosity is innate in every child and can be developed to yield greater results by given him early education.

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Nursery education experience according to Barnard (2001) positively affects later home and school involvement in education.  A child who fails to acquire nursery education may suffer emotionally, socially, intellectually and even physically if he is taking to the primary school without nursery education experience that will give him a solid foundation in the primary school.

Therefore,  for effective and efficient unlocking and development of the child’s later abilities, attitudes and other  forms  of  behaviour  of  positive  values  in  the  society  in  which  he  lives  early  childhood education becomes very important.  This is important because researches on early childhood education  experiences have  great impact  on all  areas of the  child’s development  and had suggested that the first teaches is extremely an important person in the child’s life.

According to Feeney et  al.  (2012)  early  childhood  is  an  asset  of  immense  value  in  the  later academic pursuit of a child and much more later in life. This early experience exposes the child to all fields which give him an edge over those who did attend nursery school in the primary school as the confidence in his learning capability which he acquired from the nursery school is lifted to the primary school.  This eventually aids and  facilitates  his  learning. The early childhood institution aims at developing the cognitive and affective potentials of the child at an early age.

Anderson (2002) is of the view that when children are exposed to early childhood education, they develop superior communication skills, necessary physical abilities and social unit needed in adult life and an increased cognitive and effect educational balance. Having  realized  the  importance  of  nursery  education,  the  government  encouraged  private efforts  in  the  establishment  of  this  institution.

Also, in recent  years  the  government  now sponsors the pre-school levels of public primary schools in the country. Also the government has  a  deliberate  attempt  to  raise  the  quality  of  education  at  all  levels  in  order  to  make  the product of our educational system more useful to our society. Therefore, early childhood education will provide that vital physical, psychomotor, affective, cognitive, social potentials which are fundamental to human life that will play essential role in the primary and even more in later life of the individual.

Primary education is meant to lay a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking in a child. It gives the child opportunities for developing manipulative skills that will enable the child function effectively in the society within the limits of the child’s capacity. Among all, primary education targets at moulding the child’s character, develop sound attitude and morals in him/her. Primary education helps a child to acquire citizenship education that will help him/her to participate effectively in the life of the society. It also helps a child to have a base from which he/she can further his/her education.

Considering the explanations above, the researcher would want to reframe the topic to read, the change brought about by early childhood education on the reading and writing skills or abilities of a child in primary school. This study attempts to investigate the influence of nursery education on pupil’s academic performance in some selected primary schools.

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Influence of Nursery Education on Pupils Academic Achievement in Primary Schools 

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Psychologist such as Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson have the opinion that early childhood experiences have a lot of influence on the later life of an individual. The rearing practices which the child is exposed to influence the value, norms and belief of the individual even in later life. The content of the knowledge which the child is exposed to early in life is the bedrock to later education. There is a scriptural injunction that says “train up the child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. Proverbs 22 verse 6.

From this injunction, the manner of teaching a child in the pre-primary school days go a long way to help him develop his cognitive, social and motor skills early enough as these would be lacking in children who did not attend nursery school.

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. Therefore the problem of this study is to find out the extent to which nursery education influences pupils academic performance and as well as the later educational life of the child.

1.3      PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The specific objectives of this study are:

  1. To determine the role of nursery education on the academic performance of pupils in primary schools in Ogun State.
  2. To indicate that nursery education equips pupils enough to perform better in primary school.
  3. To establish that pupils in rural area do not perform equally well as their counterparts in urban areas who attended purpose nursery schools.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. Does Nursery school education equip pupils well enough to perform better in primary school?
  2. Do pupils in rural areas perform equally well as their counterparts in urban areas who attended Nursery schools?
  3. Does interaction as an aspect of social skill influence the academic performance of primary school pupils who attended nursery school and those who did not attend nursery school?
  4. What is the role of nursery education in academic achievement of pupils in primary schools?

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

To aid the completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher

H0: Most children who attended Nursery schools does not perform better in primary school than those who did not

H1Most children who attended Nursery schools perform better in primary school than those who did not

H02pupils in rural area do perform better than their counterparts in urban areas who attended nursery schools

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H2pupils in rural area do not perform better than their counterparts in urban areas who attended nursery schools

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The findings of this study would be significant in the following ways:

  1. If effectively carried out, it would inevitably contribute to improving the academic life of pupils in Ijebu East and Ijebu North, Ogun State and Nigeria at large.
  2. It shall reveal the role of nursery education in the life of primary school pupils in Ijebu East and IjebuNorth LGA.
  3. It will show the extent to which the nursery education has contributed to the development of pupils interest in education.
  4. It will assist the national policy makers in planning for this cadre of education.

1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study covers the influence of nursery education on pupils academic performance of primary school, the researcher intends to focus only on selected secondary schools in Ijebu East and Ijebu local government area in Ogun State. In the course of carrying out this research, some problems were encountered. The main problem was human.

Often, visits to the schools to administer questionnaire on teachers and headmasters/headmistresses were abortive as some were not readily available. Most often the researcher had to waste many more hours waiting for them to come to school. When administered, retrieval of the completed questionnaires becomes a problem due to the absence of the teachers when the researcher called.

Another problem was the financial constraint involved in the frequents visits to schools to administer and retrieve the questionnaires.

Despite these problems, the researcher was able to carry out the work to its logical conclusion.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Education

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research.

Nursery education

A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, playschool or kindergarten, is an educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin compulsory education at primary school

Academic performance

Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.

1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE WORK

For the purpose of easy understanding, this research is categorized into five chapters.

Chapter one, which is essentially introductory includes background, statement, objectives, hypothesis, significance, scope/limitations of the study, organization of the work and finally, definition of terms.

Chapter two, comprises of literature review. This involves reviewing what other authors have said about the subject matter performances and influence in the economy.

Chapter three, will cover the research method and procedure, population and sample, source of data collection, method of data collection, description of instrument used, returned questionnaire and finally on that not method of data analysis.

Chapter four, in every research data presentation and analysis are very important if hypothesis are to be tested. This is very critical chapter because its observation and findings will prove or disapprove hypothesis.

Finally, chapter five is devoted towards conclusion and recommendations, whereby conclusion will be generated on whether the hypothesis is true or false, accepted or null it will also suggests solution to the problem earlier stated based on its findings.

Mr. Harrison

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