Preschool teachers must be up to the job
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