Primary education, like any other educational area, has its issues and problems to overcome. Yet it probably calls for even more efforts, as how children are educated in the early age determines what they will become.
Discussions have been running as to whether all primary education should be free, whether parents should be controlled in their choice of educational establishments and so on. In fact, primary education nowadays has a few major problems.
First, there is a huge lack of male teachers available. This sector is predominated by females and the situation is gradually getting worse. Consequently, boys might feel the growing need for a male role model, which is hardly to be found. While this tendency is felt on other educational levels as well, primary education is definitely the first of its victims.
Another important issue, and the one heating debates and complaints, is that a dramatic number of children leave these institutions unable to read or write. While advocates of early development techniques might stand for other means of learning, what we get in fact is children unprepared for school. Those who do manage literary skills don’t make much progress in it.
Curriculums, as always, ignite heated discussions. What should be taught to primary students and what shouldn’t? Do we really have to start teaching languages at such an early age? And some go as far as including Greek and Latin, by the way! While there is no single opinion about what should be on the curricula, what we do need quite badly is a standardized one.
As there are children with learning disabilities, there are debates about whether they should be educated along with others or separately. While from the academic point of view separation seems quite logical, if we take into account the importance of socialization at the early age, there might be doubts and inclination towards co-joint education. This is the problem we discussed in our post about special education needs.
Also, one of the primary education problems lies in the training itself and the requirements for enrollment. While some schools want plenty of school experience, others are content with only 10 days! Can one grasp what kind of profession this is and what it has to offer in slightly more than a week? We think that the answer is quite predictable, and lowering of standards cause more and more graduates rethink their choice and thus make poor primary education specialists.
Last but not least, a real issue is that many primary institutions are overcrowded. Expecting further decrease in birth rates, governments started to cut the number of primaries. However, lower birth rates among the natives are compensated by immigrants bringing their children and often having different views on the ‘normal’ number of kids in the family. Thus, primaries are overflown and there aren’t enough resources to restore their previous numbers as fast as we would like to.
All in all, primary education does offer points to consider. Being one of the most important stages of education, it is also associated with plenty of difficulties. Overlooking and ignoring these problems will lead to poor academic achievements of the new generation, which is easily proved by their inability to read and write. While we are discussing whether children are ready to study languages at early age, what we should be discussing is how to teach fundamentals of simple reading and writing – probably lowering expectations a little bit, but instead making sure that each and every kid has received and developed at least the minimal number of basic skills.