Early Childhood Education In Kenya
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Early childhood education lay the basic foundation of ones future. It may not be the full determinant of ones success in life , but it makes one become who they are intellectually and socially.
Lewis(2019) explains early childhood education as “…educational programs and strategies geared toward children from birth to the age of eight. This time period is widely considered the most vulnerable and crucial stage of a person’s life. Early childhood education often focuses on guiding children to learn through play. The term commonly refers to preschool or infant/child care programs…”
This being a crucial stage of a childs life time , certain factors that surround the child plays a major role.These are like the childs nutrition,relationships ,socialization , environment and technology surronding the child. Early childhood programs should focus on children’s holistic development in the four domains of child development: Physical, cognitive, social and emotional developments.Different counrties have implemented different methods of conveying information to children in relation to brain development .These decisions are majorly influenced by the culture of the specific country.
Since independence, Kenya has made tremendous gains in the development of Early Childhood education programs. With the help of the Bernard van Leer Foundation in 1971, the new government established the Preschool Education Project (PEP), and charged the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) with its administration (Adams & Swadener , 2000)
In this literature review , five articles were used in the research process to fulfill the the inquiry question at place.The results in this paper have been highlighted in the order of childhood nutrition , learning environment , early childhood socialization , out door play and Technological influence in early childhood education.They relate to each other in that they all contribute to the learning of children at early stages.A childs learning envirionment extends to out door play where they freely socialize .In todays society, technology and mass media are being implemented into the learning systems.
A childs learning environment plays a big role on how the child takes in information and how they process it. A research was done in Narok ,Kenya , and a journal was written by (Kweingoti & Marwa, 2016) . In the research journal , they found that 90% of the employees in different learning centers agree that, there is poor infrastructure (especially in infant classes)which are not conducive to active learning .They highlighted that a the environment by which the early childhood education is being undertaken should be built around a safe space and proper classroom .The professionals handling the children shoud be well trained on how to teach the children and on how to properly handle the equipments involved.Teachers do make up part of the environment and therefore they should be attentive to the progress that each child makes and involve their parents.Poverty levels have greatly affected the ability of learning environments meet the required standards.This goes as far as the teacher to student ratio. (Nganga, 2019).The Kenyan government should allocate funds to improve public school infrustructure and employment rates .Children are sensitive to their surrounding and therefore the learning environment weather in school or at home must be in good condition.
A childs behaviour is influenced by how they interact with parents , teachers ,family at large and their fellow childern.The training they get from adults around them impacts their overal education and who they are as a person in terms of characteristics. (Mwangi, Ndung’u, & Gachahi, 2017) wrote a journal based on children in Thika ,Kenya, and they concluded that a childs background in early childhood education reflected in how they behaved in primary school.Most children who had harsh parents were noticed to be anti-social and the schools in which they attended at their early stages shaped their way of relating to peers .Children whose parents were drug abusers affected their social lives.Schools are large institututions where the children first socialise in large groups after their homes.In these institutions ,they come across other children from diverse backgrounds. Diversity in cultural ,social or financial background.Subsequesntly affecting how they socialize amongst each other. (Mwangi, Ndung’u, & Gachahi, 2017)
As a child, physical activity and engagement is important for the brain development.Syomwene (2017) explains that early childhood education has a profound effect on a childs later life.A childs outdoor environment should be safe and healthy.This gives the child a notion that “this is a good place to be and the people around me care for me”.Teachers are also encouraged to participate and interact with the children as they carry out their outdoor activities.Parents as well shoud be involved in their childrens out door activities when they are at home during ealry stages in life. Through these experiences , the child is able to excersice their muscles ,explore and interact with nature and subsequently learn from it .From Syomwenes study , she concluded that the outdoor environment of Kenyan early childhood schools were not safe.She further expounds that the recources and materials were not well maintained.Poverty levels in rural areas contribute to this challenge.Teachers, as well ,were not properly involved in the outdoor activities as they complaied of poor remuneration and workload.
Technolgical advancements over the past years have taken over eduational processes.In the advanced level , use of projectors and online teaching are being implemented leading to early introduction to these systems in preschools. According to (Kaindio & Waigithunu, 2014), IT has been integrated in Kenyan pre-school classrooms by easy to use gadgets that are majorly touchpad like.There has also been considerations for those that have special needs .A mojor challenge that has been possed in (Mwangi, Ndung’u, & Gachahi, 2017) journal is that , teachers need to closely monitor the children during the use of these gadgets and control exactly what they are exposing the children to.Mass media has greatly influeced the language development.Such as exposure to vulgar or exposure to use of polite and appropriate words.They have to carry out extensive research on what they are watching and infrmation the children are obntaining.Another challenge that Kneyan pre-schools are faced with is lack of electricity.This makes implemetation of IT difficult .Early learing on use of these gadgets makes them familiar with the technological advancements for future use.
In Summary, Childhood education in various parts of Kenya is still under developed.The main purpose of early childhood education is to prepare each child for further studies .If the foundation has not been properly set then the child will find it difficult to cope in future events of learning.Parents play a big role in ensuring that their children access the appropriate facilities .Some parents may not be well informed therefore, the Kenyan government needs to carefuly asses the institutions, ensure employment of well trained professionals into the institutions and carry out training sessions to parents in public centers in regards to early childhood education.
With the growing number in population of children, to ensure close and careful monitoring of each child, the demand has to be met by contious absorption and training of teachers into employment .Parents are encouraged to be part of the early education systems of their children .They should also create a safe environment for the children to curb the various challenges and increase beneficial tools for the childs developtment not only in school but at home too.
Adams, D., & Swadener , B. B. (2000). Child and Youth Care Forum 29. Early childhood education and teacher development in Kenya: Lessons Learned , 385-402.
Kaindio, M. P., & Waigithunu, M. N. (2014). Integrating Information Communication Technology Skills in. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ,Vol.5 Issue5, 89-93. doi: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n5p
Kweingoti, R., & Marwa, M. (2016). Examine the effect of administrative and learning environment on provision of Early Childhood Education in Narok North. International Journal of Education and Research,Vol.4 Issue 9 241-246.
Lewis, B. (2019, July 03). An Overview of Early Childhood Education. Retrieved from Thought co: https://www.thoughtco.com/early-childhood-education-2081636
Mwangi, E. W., Ndung’u, C., & Gachahi, M. W. (2017). THE ROLE OF SOCIALISATION AGENTS IN SHAPING PUPILS BEHAVIOUR IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN THIKA REGION, KENYA. International Journal of Education and Research,Vol.5 Issue 7, 215-226.
Nganga, L. (2019). Early Childhood education Programs in Kenya: Challenges and Solutions . Early Years,Vol. 29 Issue3 ,227-236. doi: 10.1080/09575140902984400
Syomwene, A. (2017). Teacher Support and School Environment Factors Influencing Children’s Outdoor Play in Early Childhood Curriculum in Pre-schools in Kenya. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports,Vol.14 Issue 4, 5-8. doi: 10.9734/JSRR/2017/33594