Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Do we need preschool?

You know, very often I, and I am sure many people who are working in this field, end up having answer questions like- I didn't go to a preschool, neither did my parents/ grand parents ! Why do we need to worry about teaching children so early? Let them have fun.....

I do tend to get on my soap box in such situations, but the facts are simple. 

There are scientific/ biological justifications for paying attention to early years........

There are economic reasons for paying attention to early years.........

There is also the child rights issue for paying attention to early years........

Add to this the fact that children are not "adults-waiting-to- grow-up", they are intelligent human beings who need and respond to a positive environment, here and now! Not after they turn 7 or 12 or 15 or 18 or whatever magical figure. 

Add to this, the plain and simple fact, what is fun for a young child? 
Is it toys? Is it gadgets? Is it good food? 

Or is it a safe and secure environment ? An environment that is rich in interactions with the child? An environment that recognises the needs and requirements of the individual child and adapts itself accordingly? And allows children to play?  Is it the presence of a person who looks at the child with a genuine positive regard? And talks to the child? And listens to the child? 

In a nutshell, spends time interacting meaningfully with the child...........

If that goes missing in the young child's life , then yes, preschool becomes a mandatory "intervention"!

If I didn't go to a preschool ( in good old times) it was because the preschool was at home with me- my grandparents talked to me, listened to me; my father/mother, aunts, uncles all made me do little things at home that I could handle; there were enough things to DO at home;  my elder siblings and cousins and neighbours children taught me all the social skills & pre-literacy skills needed for me survive in the formal school. 

Sure, we can do away with preschool education, as soon as we can get back all the benefits of the "good old times"!!

Parting shot- we have thrown the baby out with bathwater, haven't we?? 

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