Revolutionising early childhood education as a vehicle for ensuring the highest quality education
This paper was presented at the Distance Education and Teacher's Training in Africa (DETA) 2011 Conference, in August 2011, Mozambique. Nigeria is the eighth most populous country in the world, and even conservative estimates conclude that more than 20% of the world’s black population lives in Nigeria (Country Profile-Nigeria, 2008). Nigeria has diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. The major ethnic groups in the country are the Hausa/Fulani in the North, the Yoruba in the South-West, Igbo in the South-East and Ijaw in the South-South. In-between these big ethnic groups are some 250 other smaller but very important ethnic groups speaking more than 300 languages and dialects. (NMEC, 2008).The recent population of Nigeria was estimated at about 140 million and the age structure breakdown shows that 0-14years: 40.9% (male 32, 476,681/female 31,064,539); the figure may not include children delivered in regions with difficult terrain and by traditional birth attendants in rural-rural areas. The age structure of a population determines the wheel of its investment, but this is not the reality in Nigeria as education receives low funding. The quality of basic education in Nigeria is extremely poor, leading to low demand and unacceptably low academic performance. There are 30 million primary school-aged children in the country, of whom about seven million are not enrolled in school. Of those currently in primary school, less than one third will attend junior secondary schools and even fewer will proceed to senior secondary. Nigeria has a massive number of out-of-school children and young adults with limited literacy and numeracy skills who have little hope of ever joining the formal workforce (USAID, 2011).Using these statistics of age structure and present poor quality report, it is very clear that Nigeria needs investment in the education of her children. The question remains at what stage; the study is proposing 0-3years, which is the very foundation of educational process and general referred to as critical period due to their continuing brain development. Unfortunately majority of them are presently left in the hands of untrained caregivers/teachers due to increased demand of changing society.
Alice Castigo Binda Freia, Suzete Lourenço Buque and Michela Alderuccio
Distance Education and Teacher Education in Africa DETA Conference 2011
Africa Primary education Students teacher education