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The pre schooling dilemma

The pre schooling dilemma
Highlights

The competition among students has seen a sharp rise in the recent years. And it has even seeped into the primary sections of the schooling systems....

It’s not entirely true that all the older children end up as drop outs but there is a good chance for them to do so as they develop a mature attitude sooner than their peers, which veers them towards the anti- social activities around.

The competition among students has seen a sharp rise in the recent years. And it has even seeped into the primary sections of the schooling systems. While the yesteryear’s elderly lament that their grandchildren have been forced to bear the burden of books too soon, a recent study tells why it is necessary to send children to school sooner.

A recent research conducted by Philip Cook, professor at Duke University, states that although children older than their classmates at the start of school do well academically and socially in the short term, they are more likely to drop out and commit serious crimes as teenagers. Keeping in mind the academic performance of older children, most parents are keen on delaying their children’s admissions into school, the study claims.

“ It’s not entirely true that all the older children end up as drop outs but there is a good chance for them to do so as they develop a mature attitude sooner than their peers, which veers them towards the anti- social activities around”, says Venkat, who provides academic counseling to many schools, including the Indus International School.

Psychiatrists believe that the resulting age difference due to delayed admissions creates a gap among kids, which is not only academically but also mentally unhealthy. “A kid joining pre-school at the age of three will have gained more knowledge and also will have had better interaction when compared to a late joinee . By the time he enrolls in his first grade, he will be ready for the school syllabus, while a five year kid directly joining school will stand a disadvantage”, says Dr Sreenivas, children psychiatrist, KIMS.

Not only psychiatrists but even academicians support early enrollment of kids into pre-school. “Ages three to six are vital for the growth of a child’s brain. It’s important that parents concentrate on their children during this period as kids begin to understand their surroundings. Any negative experience can adversely affect their perspective. At this age, a lot of physical and mental activity is recommended for a healthy kid”, M Lakshmi, Pediatrician.

However, elderly generations rue that today’s parents are only too keen to offload their responsibilities to pre-schools. “Parents of today’s generation are more concerned about their careers and personal spaces than their kids. A mother is considered the first teacher of her child and thus holds a huge responsibility. But mothers today do not have the patience to deal with their children and so depend on pre-schools”, says V Ramesh Sharma, senior citizen.

However, teachers agree that kids from preschool are easily manageable and disciplined. “ It’s easy to teach and interact with children who have pre-school experience as they are socially more aware than the ones who directly enroll into schools”, Namratha, a primary school teacher, opines. The recent study allays the fear of parents, who are keen on enrolling their children into pre-schools.

“It is a great relief that we are not seen as selfish and that the study proves that we only want our children’s future secured. It is better that kids learn and understand to socialise with others from a young age. This will help them a lot as they grow up”, says Sunitha, parent of a toddler.

By:Vaishnavi Girish

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