Let Pre-school and ECD teachers write the curriculum! Not primary school/ foundation teachers...
Why is pre-primary and ECD curriculum been designed by foundation phase teachers who have never been trained in pre-school or ECD – let alone spent years actually teaching this age group?
I worry that our ‘curriculum is being set by people who have never actually been a real pre-school or even an ECD teacher. Rather by people who may have Foundation teacher training or even worse are social workers. So we are having the Primary school teachers setting curriculum for pre-school teachers.
Primary and pre-school are so very different! Foundation phase is for children ready to learn the three ‘R’s. A very different learning time and stage. And not perhaps the most difficult kind of teaching.
Pre-school needs far better educated teachers who can fulfil the most important teaching and care a human being will ever need. Those first so important years...they need to have a much more detailed understanding of child development and of how this age group learns. They need to have a greater understanding of emotional development and the needs of small children...they also have the task to pick out problems at time when they can more easily be ameliorated without distress to the child. And the pre-school environment, if good, will naturally help children to process emotional difficulties and challenges in a way primary school never can. And we have a tsunami of emotional problems in our country...
And they are lumping together the 1-4year olds. As if their needs are the same!!!!
Also they are concentrating on a very narrow set of skills designed only to get the children ready for Grade 1. Forgetting the many life skills and skill sets pre-school children really need and can attain through play and playful experiences and materials.
They also forget (perhaps do not understand themselves) that the pre-schooler (the 3-5 year old) really needs to get a taste of the general knowledge. They need to know a little about everything in the world. They need to know the important difference between arachnids and insects, where rain comes from, that the earth is round, that there are many cultures in their own country and in the world, that there are planets, that stars are balls of fire, the basic differences between mammals and reptiles, spaceships and planes, germs and keeping safe, volcanoes and earthquakes, what the earth looks like inside, what lives in the sea and rivers and lakes....how water gets to us, how rubbish is processed...or at least the basics. So that they can start to make sense of the world.
Appropriate pre-school does these things: it makes children more likely to finish matric, do tertiary education, lowers teen pregnancy rates, raises the rate of employment as those who have had a good ECD/ Pre-school experience will be more likely to get and hold onto employment.
So please let’s take it more seriously and let those who are trained to do it sort out things like curriculum...