The benefits of early childhood learning

Academic boost from preschool has lifelong effects./ Net photo.

The greatest gift one can ever have is education. Early childhood education, also known as nursery education, is of great significance. This is education that children acquire during the first years, and then continue to primary education.

Research shows that early childhood learning has a great impact on learners as they acquire skills easily compared to later years of school.

Nursery school is where it all begins. The child’s teachers help in setting an environment of learning, nurture a love for school, and in most cases, it is the first major association of a child with people outside the family.

According to Gilbert Nuwagaba, an English and Literature teacher at Maranyundo Girls School Nyamata, early childhood education enables creative learning. They are introduced to a number of themes, which hinders boredom. As they learn, they practice. They are taught colours, numbers and so forth.

“This is a stage of excitement, as they love to try out new things and experiences. Teachers work diligently with parents to identify problems and come up with the best solutions for the child,” he notes.

Teachers should know that their goal should always be to touch the lives of children and develop lifelong learners who appreciate and value school.

Nuwagaba is of the view that one of the most important aspects in early childhood education is creating the journey of an individual. It’s during this period that one is introduced to school, and so it comes with a lot of good things.

“For example, early learning enables students to network with peers, which enables growth and development. They basically learn about the importance of teamwork and most of all, social values like caring for others.”

Furthermore, he says that through early learning, children experience the value of making and keeping friends, playing and singing and so much more. Which eventually prompts them to wake up every day ready and happy to go to school.

This builds the learner’s interest in education and school and is the base for what follows in that line, Nuwagaba adds.

“Children who do not get a good start find it hard to cope in primary school compared to those who attended nursery school. Early education also helps a child learn to attach importance to different things in life. This begins with clothing, books, food, friends, birthdays and association in general. These become very crucial in character-building later in life,” he says.

Isabelle Uwamahoro, a teacher at GS APACE, Kigali, says elementary learning equips learners with skills and knowledge which will support them, not only in their performance at school, but also in making decisions, problem-solving and strengthening their perception.

She adds that early childhood learning, as well as primary education, aids students to develop their cultural, emotional, cognition and physical skills and guide them with basic leadership that they will need in further education.

Casimir Manirareba, a teacher at Lye Notre-Dame de Citeaux, explains that early learning deserves credit for empowering learners with basic literacy. It is also the starting point of their academic progress and foundation of all education levels.

Furthermore, he says that nursery schools help pupils discover and understand themselves and, eventually, open their minds to the world and ways of living.

“It is after early education that pupils are taught to think significantly and have higher standards for a brighter future,” he says.

In addition, this education ensures the development of a child physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. Therefore, educators and parents should strive for quality nursery education to ensure a good foundation for students and society at large, he urges.

Théogène Nshimiyimfura, a teacher at Ecole Sainte Angeline les pigeons, Nyarugenge, says that elementary learning is imperative to students because it shapes their lives by promoting good decision-making. With this education, students develop many skills.

He emphasises that early schools provide children with safe environments to grow, and boost skills that assist them in handling individual circumstances. For instance, discovering new things.

Since learners spend more time in school, they are able to form ideas and work towards accomplishing them and turning them into reality, he notes.

Nshimiyimfura says that through early learning and primary education, children are taught the essence of nation-building. He points out that early education encourages a culture of reading, which expands their knowledge of understanding and relating to others. This is a stage where teachers easily discover behaviour in learners and help them adjust accordingly.

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