INFLUENCE OF SCHOOL PLAYGROUND SAFETY ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE

INFLUENCE OF
SCHOOL PLAYGROUND SAFETY ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN IKERE
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background
to the study
Early childhood
education refers to the formal teaching/learning of young children by people
outside the family (except when family members) is(are professional teacher(s))
and in setting outside the home. It includes crèche nursery and kindergarten (federal
ministry of education,2004).
Early childhood is
referred usually to the age of normal schooling years in most nations. Babies
and toddlers need positive early learning experiences to help their
intellectual, social and emotional development and this lays the foundation for
later school successes.
A child is endowed with some powers that
enable him to construct and develop his personality. A child learns a language
without conscious effort.
Early Childhood
Education (ECE) is the foundation for the other levels of education. ECE
represents the true beginning of formal education for all children (Akindele,
2011). Those who join primary school without passing through ECE will
experience a long period of uncertainties, worries and lack of fun compared to
their counterparts who join primary school from ECE. In many parts of the
world, rural areas experience low access to ECE and this has been a major
challenge and also a hindrance to quality education and achievement of
Education for All. Research across several decades has shown that the earlier
children start their educational journey, the better they will perform in
school and will become more productive members of society. The advocacy for
support for early childhood education in last few decades coincides with the
growing understanding of how young brains develop.
According to
berk(2008),the brain grows faster than any organ in the body during infancy and
toddlerhood. Awoniyi(1985) opines that early childhood means the educational
provisions ,formal as well as informal that are available for children from age
of zero to six years.
Early childhood is
a critical period of rapid physical, cognitive and psycho-social development of
a child. The quality of care and education which a child receives at this crucial
age will determine to a great extent the level of his or her physical and
cognitive development in the future (Akindele, 2011). The first years of life
are particularly important because vital development occurs in all domains.
Many studies suggest that early childhood education contributes to the brain
development architecture (Blakemore & Frith, 2005).
The quality of home
environment goes a long way in determining the eventual personality and
achievement of the child. Psychologist had classified the factors that affect
learning into two broad categories namely, nature and nurture. It has been
discovered that the two categories play complementary roles. As a nature
determines the level of intelligence and inherited abilities of the child,
nurture helps to maximize these innate abilities. According to Ekinne(2002),
nurture involves the home, the school, the environment and peer groups to which
the learner belongs. The home has far reaching influence on the child. Babara
(1982) said that the child home environment influences attainment at school.
Also, Touray (1982) suggested that the home environmental variables could be
manipulated to enhance students’ academic performance.
The level of
educational attainment of parents could influence the child access to Early
childhood Education.
Educated
parents give early independence training and achievement training. Atkinson and
Feather (1966) argued that successful parents tend to provide early
independence training which is necessary in the development of achievement
motivation. In independence training, parents insist on the child’s
self-reliance and autonomy in decision making situations. While in achievement
training, they insist on high achievement through imposing high standards of
excellence in tasks, setting high goals for the child and expecting the child
to show competence in doing tasks well.
Illiteracy
of parents could have a negative effect on the academic performance of their
children. Children whose parents are illiterates have been seen to lack home
encouragement. This implies that as some illiterate parents refuse to provide
their children with needed textbooks, they are discouraging them from learning.
David (2007) stated that textbooks aid studies after normal school teaching.
Students from illiterate parents lack assistance because of parents’ illiteracy
and ignorance such parents fail to motivate, reinforce, give reward or punish
their children on their academic performance which might have forced them to be
serious in learning. On the other hand, literate parents have interest in their
children’s academic performance. They struggle to provide them with needed
materials and give adequate encouragement. Having known the importance of
education, they draw a reading time-table for their children and also arrange
for part-time teachers to teach their children and check their workbooks from
time to time. They provide adequate motivation and reward when the children
perform better in class assignments tests and examinations. Taking care of
children and making provision for their needs, especially educational needs,
are very important in determining the academic performance of children.
Access to education
refers to enrolment of a person in an education institution giving him/her an
opportunity to participate in learning in a formal institution. Access
therefore involves both enrollment and attendance in an education institution.
There are large differences in early childhood education access. Demand and
supply side factors interact to produce these differentials (Kwame, 2007).).
Statement of the Problem
            A
close observation by researcher have shown that some children that are supposed
to be in school at early stage are not having the opportunity, when probed
further. It was discovered that some public schools that are near to their
house are not accepting below age five years and those private schools that are
close to their house charge exorbitant schools fees. If parents cannot afford
to pay school fees, children may not have access to pre –school education.
Therefore, this study investigate the impact of parents on child access to
early child education, a case study of Ikere Local Government area of Ekiti
State.
Objective of the Study
This study will be guided by the following specific
objectives.
(i)               
To
assess the extent to which school fees affect access to ECE in Ikere Local
government area of Ekiti state .
(ii)            
To
establish the extent to which distance from home to school affects access t ECE
in Ikere  Local government area of Ekiti
state .
(iii)          
To
assess the extent to which the education level of the parents influences access
to ECE in Ikere Local government area of Ekiti state.
(iv)          
To
establish the relationship between family size and access to ECE in Ikere  Local government area of Ekiti state .
Research Questions

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Significance of the Study

The study will be
an eye opener to parent in order to know the importance of investing in their
children’s ECE. They may see the importance of ECE in the development of the
child and remove the misconception that ECE is expensive.
Policy makers also
find the study useful in addressing factors that hinder access to ECE as they
strive to meet the Millennium
Teachers, head
teachers, community, religious groups and other non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) will also identify their key roles in expanding access and enhance
participation of all school-going age children in Early childhood education.
Limitation of the Study
         Problems arise during the
course of writing this research project such that literature reviews of authors
were scanty but the researcher was able to deal with the challenges in order
not to allow these problems to affect the outcome of this study.
 Delimitation of the Study
The study was
restricted to public ECE centers in Ikere  Local government area of Ekiti state . The
study also confined to the variables in the objectives. Other variables that
could influence the dependent variables were not considered.
Definition of Significant terms
Access; Refers to opportunity to enroll, participate and attend
ECE
Distance; Refers to amount of space between home and ECE center.
Early childhood education; Early childhood
education
(ECE) is a branch
of
education theory which relates to the teaching of young children (formally and informally) up until the age
of about eight. Infant/toddler education, a subset of early childhood
education, denotes the
education of children from birth to age two
ECE Center; Refers to an education setting serving
children aged between 3 and 6 years before joining primary school.
Family size; Refers to the number of children a family
has.
Public ECE center; Is an ECE center that is not owned by an
individual person but is owned and managed by the community, religious groups
or the government?
User-fees;
Refers to levies charged by ECE centers
before a child is allowed to learn.
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