Preschool Education: The Utmost Requirement for Nourishing Kids
World’s renowned American scientist, Dr. Michio Kaku said “Our secret weapon, the weapon that keeps us at the forefront of innovation and scientific progress and high tech, is the H1B (Student Visa)”. Yes, you must be thinking this is nonsense but its true and admits the importance of education and research, which makes America the most powerful among all nations.
Every year, only a handful of students around the globe are being accepted to top notch American Universities. It’s not just luck, but a proper channel of education these students are going through. It entails preschool, secondary school and may be college. This doesn’t mean those who failed,have not been through it. What makes the difference here is preschool education, and there comes the preschool. Since the cumulative brain growth is stupendous in the first three years (See Fig.2), so preschool helps in boosting children’s morale and leads to organizational development of their brain. However, the first six years of a child’s life are crucial as they undergo psychological, emotional, social and physiological phases of development. Development in this period is a precursor to their intellectual prowess, which reflects in them at puberty and later when fully grown.There are various external factors including love, affection, attention and encouragement that make the child learn and grow rapidly. Now the question arises, if all these factors can be fulfilled by parents then why do kids need pre-school?
Well, pre-school does provide an environment where kids find themselves surrounded by many of their kind and its human instinct to blend in and interact in a peer group. Their preschool activities are assimilation of creative ambiance, diversity of programs including intervention, audio-visual stimulations and motor driven actions. This kind of learning environment they thrive in may not be compensated with parent directed schooling because it requires highly trained mentors, a well-choreographed surrounding and periodical evaluation of child’s performance. This is how kids embark upon the journey to a holistic development on board the preschool. An UNESCO report says, the Gross Enrolment Ratio in pre-school has increased to 55 in 2010, which was just 3 in 1991 (See Fig.3). In India, this astounding increment in GER by 90% (2004-2008) is better than the world’s 75% (See Fig.4). Here private sector initiatives contribute to 0.22 million schools compared to 1.23 million by government but the number of children per school in private is about 45 compared to 60 in government undertaking. This is why the enrollment rate of 5 year old kids in private schools is highest in north and south India, and above numbers speaks for themselves here.
It is a caveat that parents ignore the importance of preschool education because their experience precludes them to cling to their tradition and refute the fact that the world is moving on. There are pros and cons to every aspect and so with the pre-schooling. Earlier I discussed about its pros, now consider cons here too. Unlike other problems including irritation, fatigue and attention deficit in kids, researchers have the evidence of increasing Cortisol (Stress hormone) levels, which happens due to environmental factors. It is a big concern over the quality of preschool where stress sometimes makes kids rebellious too, but in the end it depends on us which side of the coin we want to see and move on with.
Unfortunately I didn’t have opportunity to attend preschool. Whenever I see adorable kids sitting in the bus, driving them on the road to success, I envy them. I accept the fact that parental care and teaching is the best but again, do our parents have that much of time? Every time when I hear student suicide news, it compels me to think about the various loopholes in our education system. May the very first phase of education have the potential to fill that loophole. Why do most American kids start doing creative and innovative things after their pre-schooling? May be because, their preschool layout a strong base for them. Today, we may not be in the race to become the next America and H1B lottery maker but we need to keep following that channel of education.Our secret weapon may not be H1B but we have world’s largest population of young minds and they are already a lottery for us. Mark Twain said: “The secret to getting ahead is getting started”, so my question here is, when we are going to?