ASSESSMENT OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS’ ATTITUDE TOWARDS EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION (ECCDE) PROGRAMME
This study assessed the attitudes of parents and teachers towards Early Childhood Care and Education Programme in sokoto state. A total of 152 respondents, comprising of parents and teachers who are officials of Parents-Teachers Association in each of the 23 Local Government Areas in the state, were used as sample and the selection of the sample was based on the Research Advisors (2006) sampling procedure. The instrument used for data collection in the study was a researcher constructed questionnaire titled Parents and Teachers Attitude Assessment Scale (PTAAS). Descriptive survey method was used for the study. The findings of the study revealed among other thing, that the attitude of both parents and teachers towards early childhood education is not positive, and that teachers handling public ECCE centers in the state are not well qualified. Consequently, it is recommended that both parents and teachers should develop positive attitude towards early childhood care of education; parents should take keen interest in the ECCE programme and teachers to be more committed and dedicated to their duties. Equally, teachers with the right qualification and proper training in the field should be made to handle public ECCE centers in the state.
1.8 Background to the Study
Early Childhood Care, Development and Education programme plays significant role as it helps children in successful completion of Basic Education. It provides the foundation for all-round development and enables the child to understand various issues. Children at the early stage of learning need to be encouraged to develop positive attitude through child to child interaction. The early childhood education is designed carefully to provide wholesome growth and development of children. Children that receive quality early childhood education are more likely to succeed in school and in life (Harkness and Super, 1991). Early Childhood Care, Development and Education (ECCDE) is therefore an integral part of child rearing experience provided by any agency for all children. Providers of Early Childhood Care, Development and Education in Nigeria and Sokoto state in particular include; day care centers, Nursery schools and kindergarten centers. The Early Childhood Care, Development and Education programme is one of the components of Nigeria’s Universal Basic Education (UBE) Scheme as enshrined in the (FRN, 2000) (UBE Implementation Guidelines, 1999).
Parents and teachers/caregivers play an important role in the Early Childhood Care, Development and Education. Their involvement is linked to children’s total learning. Parents believe that three to six is the right age for children to receive early childhood education, as the child is able to understand things well, thereby removing the child’s illiteracy (Corner, 1991).
Nigeria is among the E-9 countries; the nine countries in the world with largest concentration of illiterate adults and which are committed to total eradication of illiteracy within the shortest possible time and equally committed to the development of care and education services for young children. To accomplish this effort, the Federal Government of Nigeria in September, 1999 introduced the Universal Basic Education Programme (UBEP) as a means to overcome problems associated with the education system in the country, with much emphasis on basic education. UBE Programme is a reform aimed at tackling inequality, opportunities and improving quality in education at the basic level. It is said that the programme was introduced by the Federal Government in order to remove distortion and inconsistencies in basic education delivery and to reinforce the implementation of the National Policy on Education as well as to ensure access, equity and quality of basic education throughout the country (Tahir 2006).