Primary School Should Commence at 5/6 Years, Says NCCE

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By Kuni Tyessi

The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Professor Bappa-Aliyu Muhammadu, has said children must start their primary one at the age of five or six.

Mohammadu gave the recommendation based on the fact that there were some faculties that had to be developed for the children to reason, appreciate and get orientation about themselves and their surroundings.

He made this known, recently, in Abuja after the conferment of an award on him by a non-governmental organisation on early childhood education supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Mohammadu said in child development or psychology, it is expected that the reasoning ability of a child should relate to his physical and mental development.

According to him, “this is an opportunity for children who are starters to have a year or two before being enrolled into primary one. Personally, I will like children to start their primary one when they are five or six years old because there are some faculties that have to be developed for them to reason, appreciate and get orientation about themselves and their surroundings. That is the reason why a six-year-old child knows his or her environment.

“In child development or psychology, it is expected that the reasoning ability of a child should relate to his physical and mental development. Some people enrol their child at less than even five years and they make it, but we are saying that for a balanced child development as a strategy, six years is a very good period for that child to enrol in primary one, so that he or she will spend 9 years in basic education.

“By the time he is going to senior secondary school, he is around 15 years and that is very good; have four years of university education and the child will be around 19 or 20 years depending on strikes and other maladjustments.”