Preschool teach­ers must be up to the job

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - THIS WEEK YOU’RE SAYING ... - HAMIL­TON PETERSEN, UITEN­HAGE

BY age six the brain of a child has reached 95% of its full-grown weight and peak of en­ergy con­sump­tion. Teach­ers at pre-school level need to pro­vide a nur­tur­ing and car­ing as well as ed­u­ca­tional-play en­vi­ron­ment to de­velop the child’s brain to the fullest.

The ed­u­ca­tion author­i­ties, real­is­ing this, in­sti­tuted lim­ited early child­hood de­vel­op­ment classes at schools, with most “teach­ers” ill-equipped (through no fault of their own) to deal with this very im­por­tant stage of de­vel­op­ment.

These posts should be filled by well-qual­i­fied and highly skilled in­di­vid­u­als. The de­vel­op­ment of the men­tal, so­cial and emo­tional as­pects of chil­dren at this stage is of car­di­nal im­por­tance. Teach­ers should have knowl­edge of the phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment of the child, cul­ti­vate the sen­sory and mo­tor de­vel­op­ment of the child, be able to im­prove the cog­ni­tive and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment as well as ex­pand their lan­guage us­age in a planned and con­struc­tive way. What is now tak­ing place is to­tally dis­as­trous. Thou­sands of pri­vate creches and pre-schools abound all over the coun­try, most not reg­is­tered with the ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment and staffed by well-mean­ing out-of-work moth­ers with a bit of space at their homes. Ev­ery sec­ond street in all ar­eas of the pop­u­la­tion has a creche or a preschool. This crit­i­cally im­por­tant job must re­sort un­der the con­trol of the ed­u­ca­tion author­i­ties.

A note to teach­ers: You are re­spon­si­ble for the most im­por­tant task in hu­man so­ci­ety.

In your hands rests the par­ents’ great­est trea­sure, their most le­git­i­mate hopes.

You have on your shoul­ders one of the high­est so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, and the most no­ble and hu­mane of all tasks. The smiles and af­fec­tion of the chil­dren you will ed­u­cate, the grat­i­tude of their fam­i­lies and the pro­found ad­mi­ra­tion of all of so­ci­ety will live for­ever in your mem­ory.

To be a teacher, to be con­cerned pri­mar­ily and im­me­di­ately with the youth, to be a dis­sem­i­na­tor of ideas, a cre­ator of ideals and a builder of char­ac­ter is chal­leng­ing, ex­cit­ing and em­i­nently worth­while. The chal­lenge is to equip your­self for the task. The ex­cite­ment lies in the feel­ing that you are con­tribut­ing to the build­ing and shap­ing of young lives. And worth­while­ness lies in the pur­pose and di­rec­tion of your work inside the class­room as well as in the knowl­edge that you are help­ing to te­le­scope fun­da­men­tal so­cial change.

‘Thou­sands of pri­vate creches and preschools abound

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.