ATTITUDE OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION STUDENTS TOWARDS THE STUDY OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION IN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
1.1 Background to the Study
Quality education at the early years of a child is very important and there is no gain saying the fact that these formative years have great impact on the later life of the child and consequently national development. In essence, the physical, emotional and cognitive development of the child, if properly taken care of would benefit the child and the nation in general. This is why the Education for All (EFA) goal urges all nations to expand early childhood care and education services to all children particularly the vulnerable and disadvantaged by the year 2015.
The education system in Nigeria before 1999 was six years in primary school, three years junior secondary school and three years senior school. The Federal Government of Nigeria in the 6th edition of the National Policy on Education is very clear on the importance of basic education as the edition highlights and emphasises among others; “the consolidation of Kindergarten, Primary and Junior Secondary education to a 10-year Basic Education in line with the UBE and its establishment Act”.
In Nigeria, pre-primary education caters for children aged 3-5 years, prior to their entering primary school and is aimed at facilitating a smooth transition from home to school; providing adequate care and supervision for children while their parents are at work (on the farms, in the markets, offices, and so on); preparing the child for primary education; inculcating social norms; inculcating in the child the spirit of enquiry and creativity through the exploration of nature, and the local environment, playing with toys, artistic and musical activities; teaching co-operation and team spirit; teaching the rudiments of numbers, letters, colours, shapes, forms, and so forth, through play; and teaching good habits especially good health habits.