The results of a study to present the skills of a child entering primary school were handed to the Ministry of Basic Education last Wednesday in Yaounde.
A strategic document on what to consider in a bid to extend and develop preschool in the Basic Education sector in Cameroon was officially presented to major actors in the sector last Wednesday, October 12, 2016 in Yaounde. The document revealed the results of a study carried out amongst 1,200 pupils from public, private, as well as Islamic schools on what to consider when preparing a child for primary school.
The consultant who carried out the study, Alain Mingat, revealed that the preschool phase is very important to pupils because it prepares them for eventual schooling, reason why it is appropriate to call that phase preschool and not nursery school. According to Alain Mingat, the findings show that focus, while teaching kids in preschool education, should be on building their cognitive competence. “Expose the child through games, exercises and activities that will help the child build his cognitive skills himself”, the UNICEF consultant noted. At this phase, it was stressed that the role of a teacher is not to tell the child what to do and what not to do but to get the child do what he wants to do through attractive exercises.
Results also show that the best age group for preschool is between 4-5 years and the access to primary education should be at six years for all pupils. In the preschool context, Alain Mingat said the qualifications of teachers are not crucial because they are out to help the child learn by herself and know how to interact in the society. The survey also saw the need to revise the pedagogic programme in preschool system. The Minister of Basic Education said the study will help provide appropriate elements necessary for the Ministry to implement the strategy for preschool period in Cameroon so as to achieve education for all.