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IS NURSERY SCHOOL NECESSARY?

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th January 2009 03:00 AM

JOAN Birungi is at crossroads. Should she take her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to school? Her friends say nursery school is a waste of money and a thing for the rich.

JOAN Birungi is at crossroads. Should she take her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to school? Her friends say nursery school is a waste of money and a thing for the rich.

BY AGNES KYOTALENGERIRE

JOAN Birungi is at crossroads. Should she take her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to school? Her friends say nursery school is a waste of money and a thing for the rich.

In Kampala, educating a pre-primary school age child is as expensive as educating a university student. For instance, at Happi-tots Daycare and Nursery School on Clement Hill, tuition for first term is sh550,000 for full day and sh450,000 for half day. At Teddy Bears Kindergarten Bugolobi, the tuition is sh320,000 for half-day and sh440,000 for full-day pupils.

In addition to tuition, another challenge parents face is determining the right age to take a child to nursery school.

Martin Mugoya, the acting assistant commissioner for pre- and primary education at the education ministry, says three years is the ideal age.

“At that age, a child can communicate with teachers and classmates. A child has well-developed visual and touch abilities to see, touch and draw objects,” he says.

Augustine Kayongo, the headteacher of Christ the King Nursery School, concurs that age, it is easier for children go through the three stages (baby, middle and top class) of nursery before joining Primary One, which requires a child to be six years of age.

Kayongo observes that children who are taken to nursery before the age of three find it difficult to read and write because their hand muscles and brains are not yet developed to handle such activities.

Why nursery education?
Resty Muziribi, the acting commissioner pre- and primary department, says the nursery syllabus is meant to prepare the child for primary school.

Muziribi adds that in nursery, children are taught how to read, recite rhymes and poems to improve their English, write the alphabet, numbers and to draw pictures.

To break from the monotony of class, children are allowed to play to stimulate their interest in learning.

Aside from academics, Murizibi explains that kindergarten helps to instill in them good morals like greeting, respect for elders and the fear of God, among others. These, when combined with the academic aspect, give the child a holistic education.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Your ideal nursery school should have the following:
- It should be registered and licensed by the ministry of education
- It should have friendly, trained and qualified teachers
- It should be near home or your workplace in case of an emergency
- It should have a spacious compound with enough in and out door playing equipment
- Ensure that the sanitation of the school is good
- It should have enough clean toilets to cater for both boys and girls separately. It should also have running water for washing hands
- The school should provide proper nutrition.

IS NURSERY SCHOOL NECESSARY?

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