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Teachers Attitude Towards Field Games in Nursery School in Egor Local Govt Area




1.1 Background to the Study

Play enhances children’s development and is fundamental in promoting children’s learning skills (Ginsburg, 2006). It is a very critical element of early childhood, curriculum and pedagogy development. In addition to being seen as a vehicle for learning, play is described as a platform in which children can demonstrate their own learning and help scaffold the learning of others (Woolkopf, 2004). According to the United Nation High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR 2006), play is paramount in optimal child development.


Education is the process in which knowledge; skills, attitudes and values are transferred for the purpose of integrating the individual in a given society. Knowledge is based upon experience and therefore play is the main path to learning Froebe (1887) had this in mind when he asserted that: “play is the first means of development of the human mind, its first effort to make acquaintance with the real world, to correct original experiences from things and facts and to exercise the powers of body and mind” (Rueben 2006:1).


Some preschools do not provide the learners with play equipment and sometimes they are inadequate. In a research done on play activities among zero to eight years old children by Sarah Chepkemboi Mutai (2003:2), the researcher found out that play activities were not enough in preschools and the equipment for it were few. In a research on participation of nursery school in guided play in Itam Education Zone by Udofia, 2003 as cited by Reuben (2006:1), the school’s play equipment were very old and worn out which could cause harm to nursery school.

The convention on the Rights of the Child 1989; Article 28, recognized the child’s right to education. The state parties were advised to provide basic, compulsory and free education to all. This would provide equal opportunity to all people in the world. The convention further recommended children’s right to play and recreation activities which mostly use play materials that enhance social-emotional development. World Declaration on Education for All (Jomtien, 1990) supported the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the convention on the right of the child also emphases education as a right.

The forum emphasized that all children, young people and adults should benefit from educational opportunities designed to meet their basic learning needs. African charter on the rights and welfare of the child (1999), Article 11, stated that every child in Africa has a right to education in order to promote and develop the child’s personality, talents, mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential. Africa was really committed to provide universal education in their states.


Dakar Framework for Action (2000) was organized in Senegal to deliberate issues of education. It went ahead to re-affirm the vision of the World Declaration on Education for All (Jomtien 1990). All the 193 member states of the United Nations agreed to achieve universal primary education as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targeting the year 2015. The concerned of the international communities on education issues is a clear indication that there is a gap in achieving universal education to all globally.


Psychologists generally agree that the period below six years is critical in the development of human beings. Theories of intellectual development take place in stages and it therefore follows that certain concepts, skills and attitudes must be developed and nurtured at particular periods in a child, failure then the concepts can be stunted or missed completely. There is a growing concern among Nigerian nursery school education practioners on the current approach to ECE that emphasizes the academic component at the expense of other areas of child development. Over emphasis on cognitive development observed, goes against child development research findings that define quality and relevance of ECE to be, that which caters for total development of the child (Kombo and Khalayi 2011).


In Nigeria, the Ministry of Education syllabus intended for use in nursery schools emphasizes the indoctrination of field games into the teaching curriculum and provide adequate equipment and favorable environment for these activities. The schools should provide equal opportunity for girls, boys, and children with special needs in all aspects of field games However; there is a lot of rot in the learning environment with more emphasis on academic achievement depriving the learner time to play. Evidence is seen in schools that organize teaching over the weekends even to nursery schools yet what is done is within the confines of classrooms. The school policy needs to adopt nursery school curricula that emphasizes play and child initiated activities, yet both parents and teachers who believe in academic achievement hinder this.


1.2 Statement of the Problem.

According to Mwangi and Shigali (2009), children build their own knowledge through constructive play. In Egor, Edo state, the school determines the conduct of field games activities in each preschool depending on the funds allocated to them. Due to these disparities, the use of field games in promoting learning in nursery school children in Egor is adversely affected. They don’t receive uniform provision of field game materials.

Learning skills are improved by engaging in play activities that allows interaction among the children. Culture of educational accountability, elimination of school recess, learners going to school over the weekends, learners going to school early and leaving late has been evident in Egor L.G.A. (Kere, 1998). Moreover, at this very sensitive stage, there is a lot of rote learning with a central focus to the cognitive development of the child. The pressure to acquaint children with academic skills deprives them of field gamestime. During playtime when they should be out playing, they may be in class completing class work. Other reasons may range from lack of field game materials, lack of good playgrounds, teachers’ incompetence on knowledge on play, and inadequate time allocated to play.


The problem therefore, is that despite the Government providing preschool education learning through play, play has been dismally below expectation. Not only is play rarely used in public nursery school but the quality of field games activities has often been hindered by many factors such as inadequate playground, limited play materials, pressure by parents on teachers to meet academic standards Play as a medium of learning language is not being used well in preschools hence the view upon which this study is based. It is against this backdrop that this study sought to establish the Teachers attitude towards field games in nursery school.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to establish the Teachers attitude towards field games of nursery school children in Egor L.G.A., Edo state.


1.4 Research Objectives

The study was guided by the following research objectives:

  1. To establish the types of field games in improving nursery school children’s learning skills in Egor L.G.A. Edo state.
  2. To assess the availability of field game materials in improving nursery school children’s learning skills in Egor L.G.A. Edo state.
  3. To examine the attitude of teachers towards field games in nursery school children’s learning skills in Egor L.G.A. Edo state.
  4. To determine the School policy towards field games in improving nursery school children’s learning skills in Egor L.G.A. Edo state.


1.5 Research Questions

The study was guided by the following research questions.

  1. What are the types of field games in improving nursery school children’s learning skills in Egor L.G.A. Edo state?
  2. What is the availability of field game materials in improving nursery school children’s learning skills in Egor L.G.A. Edo state?
  3. What is the attitude of teachers towards field games in nursery school children’s learning skills in Egor L.G.A. Edo state?
  4. What is the School policy towards field games in improving nursery school children’s learning skills in Egor L.G.A. Edo state?


1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will be of immense value to school administrators and teachers in ensuring that specific, play activities are institutionalized in the learning system in nursery school to improve children’s learning. The findings will be important to school administrators and nursery school teachers in ensuring that they provide adequate time for play.

The researcher hopes that the study will form a basis for future involvement of field games in preschools in general and will lead to the generation of new ideas for better and more efficient control of early childhood institutions in Nigeria.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

The study had no control of other variables that may also have effect on learning skill development like environment and social economic activities.

Also the researcher was short on time as he was engaged in other academic works in school.

Finances too was a great challenge in carrying out this work, mainly on transportation to the selected schools.


1.8 Scope of the Study

The study was limited to public nursery schools in Egor L.G.A. The respondents for the study include head teachers, preschool teachers and nursery school. The study focused on language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The study used questionnaires, interview schedule and observation checklist to collect data from the respondents The findings of the study cannot be generalized to other parts of the country unless a similar study is done in areas with similar characteristics

1.9 Definition of Key Terms

Development: The action or process of developing or being developed Influence Ability to persuade an individual to change his or her opinion Language Any set of defined rules that can be used to convey thoughts, ideas and instructions.


Learning skills are habits that can be used throughout your life to complete projects and communicate effectively


Play  Performing or doing an activity for pleasure enjoyment, or for amusement

Speaking skills; Ability to produce flexible, appropriate and indefinite number of utterances in particular language.


Pre-primary school, or play school, is an educational establishment or learning space offering nursery school to children before they begin compulsory education at primary school.


Skill  Ability or talent or potential to perform tasks.


Readiness: Is the development level that a child is expected to achieve prior to being engaged in teaching and learning process.


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