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EARLYCHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND NIGERIA: THE VOICE OF THE CHILDREN           

The voice of the one crying in the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord but in this stead who will speak for the children in Nigeria?

The educational standard of Nigeria keeps falling by the day but no one has come to term to find out what is the cause? what areas are we found wanting? on what educational curriculum are we building our educational standard on ? this and many more questions will usher us into how Nigeria have handled the pre- school or early childhood education in Nigeria.

Early childhood education is the fundamental stage in any country's educational system. According to the Nigerian National Policy on Education section 2 (11), early childhood education is referred to the education given in an educational institution to children prior to their entering the primary school. It includes the crèche, the nursery and the kindergarten. But it is disheartening that the private schools and organizations have taken over this level of education with most of them filled with incompetent earlychildhood officials and some with no educational qualification.

Whereas in the National Policy on Education 4th edition (2004) section 2 (12) states that "the responsibilities of the Nigerian government for pre- primary education shall be to promote the training of qualified pre- primary school teachers in adequate number, contribute to the development of suitable curriculum, supervise and control the quality of such institutions and establish pre- primary sections in existing public schools.

But is this the real scenero in Nigeria? is there any existing pre-school institutions  owned by the government? are the institutions only in existence in documents? we need answers...
Then, why wouldn't the educational standard and foundation be in jeopardy, because the educational system is built on a faulty foundation where inexperienced, unqualified officials and teachers train and educate the Nigerian children, one should expect the system to be in a pathetic state.

What is the government doing about this? are they looking into that level of education ? or are they paying the usual lip service to augmenting the standard of education by increased budget allocation for education , in 2006 to 2010, less than 300 billion naira was recurrently allocated to education, in 2011 1.592 trillion (about 35 percent) was allocated to security, while education was ailing at less than 10 percent, 2012 was no different with 8.4 percent at 394.58 billion of 4.697 trillion. Another deception came in 2013 when education was said to have gotten the highest allocation with just 426.5 billion with all these proposed increments it is not up to 26 percent of the nation's budget as expected by UNESCO. 2018 , we are back again with the government announcing sectors that got high allocation, allocating 398.01 billion to Education yet we are not experiencing any change because they have neglected the foundation. After all, we voted for "CHANGE" so a change must occur so that the Nigerian children can develop cognitively and psychologically.

With all these that have plagued the system, I would recommend that the Nigerian government establish pre- school institutions in all the geographical zones to build a solid educational foundation for the Nigerian children.
Train and employ qualified earlychildhood educators to develop a viable, practicable and valid curriculum to educate the Nigerian children.

This move will also create more employment opportunities in the educational labour market.
And will yield a sharp rise in the development of the mental, physical, psychological and educational skills of the Nigerian children.

                                           

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