Child care

Bridging the Gap between Pre-Primary and Primary Schooling

A lot of research and assessment, irrespective of a particular nation, has gone into studying the primary education systems. This is because primary school is a defining factor in a childai??i??s education.

A major debate on the primary education system is regarding the method of teaching adopted by the teachers.

Initiatives have been launched to diminish the drastic difference between the pre-primary and primary levels of education for children. The focus in these initiatives is to: ai???Eliminate the feeling of estrangement and alienation the child feels when he/she enters a primary school away from his/her family and build a strong and sustainable pedagogical link between the pre-school program and the first term of the Standard One.ai???

Experts like Om Varma from the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) say: ai???The change must be done more gradually and within a more familiar environment. Instead of working in the textbook as from the first day at primary school, the relationship should be more interactive and the pedagogy adopted should be done through games, songs and more familiar situationsai???

Experts also suggest texts should start from the second term of primary school.

But many teachers have problem with this school of thought. They believe the style of teaching proposed by experts is time consuming and not up to par. They also complain it is difficult to complete the syllabus with this structure of teaching.

As an answer to these questions, the MIE lecturer suggested a softer approach:ai???The book should not be a bible and the teacher should not follow it from the first to the last page. Teachers should be free to build their own tools while basing themselves on the booksai???

Irrespective of the concerns raised by the teachers, the experts stand an inch higher in their structured approach only because of a main advantage ai??i?? this structured approach will put all pupils coming from pre-primary at the same level as the second term of education.

There have been programs designed on these lines of structured approach in places like Mauritius which are called ai???Bridging the Gapai??i?? concepts. How far have these programs succeeded to cover whole of the primary education system, is yet to be understood.

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