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Title: Development during early childhood : pre-primary education in Nepal
Authors: Upreti, Nirmala
Keywords: Early childhood - education
Primary education
Pre-primary school
Issue Date: 26-Feb-2018
Abstract: The present study “Development during Early Childhood: Pre-primary Education in Nepal” was conducted to explore the Early Childhood Programmes in Nepal. The specific objectives were to survey the various preschool programs in Kathmandu and to assess the quality of the selected pre-primary schools in relation to developmental needs of preschool children. This study attempted to compare the overall development of pre-primary school going children with those who have never attended a preschool programme. To understand the cultural context within which the early childhood programmes run the perspectives of other stake holders such as principals, teachers and parents of children attending the selected pre-primary schools were also included in the study. Eighteen private and government pre-primary schools from the rural, semiurban and urban areas of the Kathmandu district were selected for the study. The selection was based primarily on accessibility and permissions by the management of the schools. This was critical as Nepal was going through political turmoil and violence during the period of data collection. The overall learning environments of the selected schools were evaluated using Early Childhood School Environment Observation and Rating Scale (ECSEORS). A total sample of 144 children aged 48- 50 months, 8 (4 boys +4 girls) from each school also comprised the sample. Fifty six children of the same age who had not attended any preschool programme were also identified for the study. The total sample of children selected for the study was 200. The Development Assessment Measure (DAM I & II) were used to assess the overall development of children in pre-schools and also children not attending any preschool. These were based on several standardized and available tools. They were translated into Nepali and adapted to suit children of Nepal. A Teacher Rating Scale (TRS) was used for assessing children’s classroom behaviour and performance by the class teacher. The findings have been discussed under four major sections- survey, observations of school environment, children’s developmental assessment, and perspectives of principals, parents and teachers. According to Flash Report 2010/011 there are 31,089 ECD/PPC s in the country, 26,733 (86.1%) ECDs are running as community- based ECD centres and community school based ECD/PPs. Thus rest 4316 (13.9%) of the ECD/PPCs are run by private schools. In general schools are located in wide variety of geographical location (mountain, plain, rural, semi-urban, and urban) in Nepal. In some semi-urban and urban government schools there are lots of learning and playing materials in the class room and classrooms are also arranged according to ECD curriculum. Most of the teachers use traditional methods of teaching despite of the fact that they had received a short time training (2 to 3 weeks) for primary classes or early childhood development. The teacher commonly uses teacher directed teaching styles which focus on text books and examinations. While schools especially Government schools are expected to meet the needs of National Curriculum, teachers often spend significant amount of time on tasks other than teaching. Private schools have been established on a massive scale, not only in towns but also in remote villages. In the absence of a clear policy these private schools choose their own management system and set their own policies for student fees and teacher salaries. Their costs seem to be decided without a clear basis and appear to be motivated by profitability. A private school is generally seen as an institution that provides education of better quality and parents have to spend lots of money for their child’s education. In my research work 18 schools were observed. In the physical set up domain only 2 private schools were excellent and other 9 were good. Of these nine schools, 4 were private schools and 5 were government schools. Quality of school buildings, class rooms and indoor outdoor space of government schools was good compared to private schools running in rented buildings. But in sanitary facilities, class room arrangement, and in indoor equipment private schools were good as compared to government schools. Compared to government schools private schools had neat and clean surroundings though space was not enough for the children. In health and hygiene practices and facilities only 1 private school was excellent and other 3 schools were good. Among three one was a government school and 2 were private schools. Other 14 were poor in health and hygiene domain. There was no lunch or Tiffin program in almost all sampled schools. Only in two private schools there was a lunch program in the school and it was well managed. The school management was aware of the importance of nutrition and neatness and cleanliness in the feeding program. In one private school which has only pre-primary classes, school-provided Tiffin was quite expensive and it was compulsory. In another school also it was compulsory but not so expensive and quality of food also good. In conceptual /curricular content, private schools were excellent in different activities compared to government schools. Though government schools have enough spaces for the children to play, the teacher does not follow the daily time schedule and they do not give much time for physical activities. But in private schools teachers give ample time to the children for physical and other activities. Compared to rural schools, urban school teachers were more active and give much more attention to children in both government and private school. This was due to urban parents being much more aware and demanding than rural parents. These results explicitly demonstrate that the school environment was not favorable and in accordance with the requirements. Government is spending a lot of money to improve the quality of buildings, library, science laboratories, toilets, and other physical facilities but money is not used properly.
Description: Thesis submitted to the university of Delhi for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Home Science, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, 2011.
Appears in Collections:300 Social sciences

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