According to World Health Organisation (WHO) early childhood development is considered to have a significant impact on a child’s development. It determines the quality of health, well-being, learning and behaviour across the life span.
Parenting expert Nikki Bush has spent a lot of time in both government and private schools. She says appreciation for how children learn and developmental needs are solely lacking from government, parents as well as teachers.
Nobody understands the nuts and bolts of how children learn in the early years… they don’t put emphasis or have an appreciation for early learning.— Nikki Bush - Parenting expert
According to Bush most children don't have a structured pre-school learning that prepares them for Grade R. This puts their young minds under pressure, she says.
The foundation phase lasts through to the age of nine. Early childhood development is what happens in those pre-school years right up to Grade R. This covers the stimulation when we have our children at home as well as what happens at day care and pre-school.— Nikki Bush - Parenting expert
What teachers need to do to inspire children to learn?
- Blend learning and playing – make education fun
- Children need repetition
- Allow children to speak their mind
- Listen to what they have to say – give full attention
- Recognize and reward achievement
For an economy to grow and in order to change poor matric results, we need to start at the beginning of the educational cycle, says Bush. Strong academic foundations needs to be created long before children enter the formal schooling system, she says.
Listen to the full conversation on the Redi Tlhabi Show: