EFFECT OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF PRIMARY FOUR STUDENTS IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF AKWA IBOM STATE
The study sought to establish facts about early childhood education experience on the academic performance of primary school children. The research instrument used was the school continuous assessment records. Three hypotheses were formulated and tested using t-test statistics, at .05 level of significance. The study revealed that there is a significant difference between pupils who had early childhood education and those without in their academic performance-cognitive ability, affective and psychomotor skills. Based on the findings and conclusion, appropriate recommendations were made, among other things that the society at large should see ECE as a vital investment which yields dividends on a daily basis.
1.1 Background of the Study
What a nation makes of education system to a large extent will dictate the tempo of her match to nationhood and self-reliance (Okeke, 1990) Education is regarded as a dynamic instruments of change, thus Nigerian government accepts education to be a huge government venture and gives it a wholehearted support.
For sometimes now early childhood education has been a great concern to educators, scholars, researcher’s governmental and non-governmental agencies and indeed the generality of the populace of Nigeria. This is because education at this level represents the pivot and the initial focal point on which the entire education system rotates. It is the embryo of the whole education system. The management and planning of education at this pre-school stage, thus is of immense importance to the education system in particular and to the entire nation at large. This is because the foundation for a sound qualitative and functional education system can be best laid here.
These nurseries and kindergartens form the first step in public education and help the family in the moral and aesthetic education of children in maintaining and strengthening their health and preparing them for school.
Early childhood is referred to as a period between two to six years. This is sometimes referred to as pre-primary stage. Growth at this state proceeds at a very fast rate although slower than that of the baby. The historical development of early childhood education coincided with the historical development of science education. The contributions of many early childhood educators stimulated awareness in the relevance of science to the education of the young child.