ABSTRACT: The study was conducted to examine The Effects of Nursery Education on the Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils. Three research questions and three null hypotheses were formulated to give the study a sense of direction. The research design for this study is descriptive survey design type, it is designed to look into the influence of nursery education on the academic performance of primary school pupils in public schools. The population of the study comprised of 5 public primary school (primary one (1) pupils) in the study area. Sample and Sampling Technique(s). The sample size for this study comprised of 100 pupils drawn from five (5) public primary schools. The total sample size is 250 primary one (1) pupils from the five public primary schools. The null hypotheses were rejected in favour of the alternatives based on the outcome of the analysis.
The results were significant in all cases. The data for this study was generated from the achievement test results in mathematics, English language and basic studies testing the pupils’ cognitive ability, social skills and motor skills. The test was administered by the researcher with the help of the classroom teachers and heads of the schools. The papers were collected at the end of the exercise, each questions carry one mark.
The Effects Of Nursery Education On The Academic Performance Of Primary School Pupils
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education being an indispensable tool in nations building is a process of systematic training and instruction designed to transmit knowledge and acquisition of skills potentials and also abilities which will enable an individual to contribute efficiently to the growth and development of his society and nation. It involves all round development of an individual social, physical, moral and intellectually (Osakwe, 2006). It is therefore glaring that early childhood education has influence in a child later academic achievement. This has motivated the development of a number of pre-school institutions.
More recently, formal kindergarten programmes have been designed to prevent high drop-out and low levels of intellectual functioning that are found in disadvantaged children as early as two or three years of age (Fafunwa, 2012). Ministry of Education knowing extensively the importance of nursery education on the academic performance of pupils in Nigeria and in the world at large.
Nursery education as defined by Omozeghian (2014) is the education meant for children between the ages of 3-5. The National policy on education (2014) sees pre-primary education as the education given in an institution to children aged 3-5 years plus prior to their entering the primary school. It means it is a special kind of education provided in an institution prior the children entering the primary school. Having known the importance of pre-school or nursery education, the government encouraged private efforts in the establishment of these institutions. Also, in recent years the government sponsors the pre-primary school levels in public primary school in the country (Nigeria).
Learning according to Osakwe (2006) is a natural process of pursuing meaningful goals, discovering and constructing meaning from information and experience filtered through the learners unique perceptions, thoughts, and feelings. Hence, when the child is born into the world learning commences immediately to enable the child get adapted to the new environment. The child learns to feed, hear, see and respond to stimuli, before learning to sit, walk, talk and behave like people around him. The drive for curiosity is innate in every child and can be developed to yield greater results by given him early education.
Nursery education experience according to Barnard (2001) positively affects later home and school involvement in education. A child who fails to acquire nursery education may suffer emotionally, socially, intellectually and even physically if he is taking to the primary school without nursery education experience that will give him a solid foundation in the primary school. Therefore, for effective and efficient unlocking and development of the child’s later abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour of positive values in the society in which he lives early childhood education becomes very important. This is important because researches on early childhood education experiences have great impact on all areas of the child’s development and had suggested that the first teaches is extremely an important person in the child’s life.
According to Feeney et al. (2012) early childhood is an asset of immense value in the later academic pursuit of a child and much more later in life. This early experience exposes the child to all fields which give him an edge over those who did attend nursery school in the primary school as the confidence in his learning capability which he acquired from the nursery school is lifted to the primary school. This eventually aids and facilitates his learning. The early childhood institution aims at developing the cognitive and affective potentials of the child at an early age.
Anderson (2002) is of the view that when children are exposed to early childhood education, they develop superior communication skills, necessary physical abilities and social unit needed in adult life and an increased cognitive and effect educational balance. Having realized the importance of nursery education, the government encouraged private efforts in the establishment of this institution. Also, in recent years the government now sponsors the pre-school levels of public primary schools in the country. Also the government has a deliberate attempt to raise the quality of education at all levels in order to make the product of our educational system more useful to our society. Therefore, early childhood education will provide that vital physical, psychomotor, affective, cognitive, social potentials which are fundamental to human life that will play essential role in the primary and even more in later life of the individual. This study attempts to investigate the influence of nursery education on pupil’s academic performance in some selected primary schools.
The Effects Of Nursery Education On The Academic Performance Of Primary School Pupils
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Psychologist such as Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson have the opinion that early childhood experiences have a lot of influence on the later life of an individual. The rearing practices which the child is exposed to influence the value, norms and belief of the individual even in later life. The content of the knowledge which the child is exposed to early in life is the bedrock to later education. There is a scriptural injunction that says “train up the child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. Proverbs 22 verse 6.
From this injunction, the manner of teaching a child in the pre-primary school days go a long way to help him develop his cognitive, social and motor skills early enough as these would be lacking in children who did not attend nursery school. Therefore the problem of this study is to find out the extent to which nursery education influences pupils academic performance and as well as the later educational life of the child.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The specific objectives of this study are:
- To determine the role of nursery education on the academic performance of pupils in primary schools
- To indicate that nursery education equips pupils enough to perform better in primary school.
- To establish that pupils in rural area do not perform equally well as their counterparts in urban areas who attended purpose nursery schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Does Nursery school education equip pupils well enough to perform better in primary school?
- Do pupils in rural areas perform equally well as their counterparts in urban areas who attended Nursery schools?
- Does interaction as an aspect of social skill influence the academic performance of primary school pupils who attended nursery school and those who did not attend nursery school?
- What is the role of nursery education in academic achievement of pupils in primary schools?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher
H0: Most children who attended Nursery schools does not perform better in primary school than those who did not
H1: Most children who attended Nursery schools perform better in primary school than those who did not
H02: pupils in rural area do perform better than their counterparts in urban areas who attended nursery schools
H2: pupils in rural area do not perform better than their counterparts in urban areas who attended nursery schools
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings of this study would be significant in the following ways:
- If effectively carried out, it would inevitably contribute to improving the academic life of pupils
- It shall reveal the role of nursery education in the life of primary school pupils
- It will show the extent to which the nursery education has contributed to the development of pupils interest in education.
- It will assist the national policy makers in planning for this cadre of education.