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    4 year olds in compulsory school?

    The Chinese government pursued a one child policy. They did bring the population down but they also had increased cases of aborting because the baby was not a boy, they now have men who will never find a wife because there are not enough women, they have abandoned girl babies and an aging population who do not have enough young people to care for them too.

    I just feel that one should be so careful of forcing anyone to conform because they MUST. And truly population control happens naturally as peoples quality of life improves. And does not properly until this happens... People should rather be made fully aware of what their children need so that they can make choices that suit their children and what they want for them.

    And one needs also to accept that there are different forms of pre-school that all prepare children for school and LIFE quite well.And that we have a few pre-school which are offering good care – even those of our centres working in impoverished areas.

    But what I am mainly terrified of is that children will be forced to go to primary schools at 4 years old and receive the same sort of bad teaching Grade R and primary and high school children are receiving...Already the schools are full to bursting. How will the accommodate the 4 year olds adequately? And now to force 4 year olds into ‘classes’ run by people who think all they need is to learn their shapes, colours, numbers and letters. And all by rote. This is guaranteed to help children fail to move from concrete to abstract learning. Just because small children can memorise well does not mean that is the only way they should learn. After all they need to explore, experiment, ask questions and learn so much more than to count from 1 to a hundred...which they will learn quite easily at 7 years anyway.

    The 3-5 year olds thrive in smaller groups and smaller places. Primary schools are huge and scary to a 4 year old. It is often their first move from the comfort and security of a known home environment. They also need play filled learning environment with teachers who know how to achieve that sort of learning. And yes it does take a considerable amount of learning to do properly...the younger children are the more teaching skills one needs, the more balanced the teacher needs to be emotionally and the more deeply knowledgeable the teacher needs to be about child development. I would be happy if children from 3 went to pre-school (and those under 3 were being cared for 1-1 in home environments).

    I believe it needs to be facilitated by both national and local governments. I just think there are better ways than with a large wooden mallet of laws. One size does not fit all – and does not promote good education either. Or start us on a course of better education...

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