22-28 March 2013 #648

Prepping for preschool

Depending on how deep your pockets are parents in Kathmandu are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking preschools

From technology enhanced classrooms that deliver multimedia content and allow children to interact with objects and images they see on a screen to mini-libraries, separate art and science corners, and personalised wash areas and toilets, Kathmandu’s toddlers and their parents are spoilt for choice when it comes to preschools. It all depends on how deep your pockets are.

BIKKRAM RAI

Most schools follow the Montessori curriculum developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. But there are some like Premier International Preschool and Ullens who provide the more exclusive International Baccalaureate affiliated kindergarten programs.

“Expats living here want their children to attend IB kindergartens because it is a globally recognised program and it is easier for the children to transfer from one school to another when their parents move,” says Pawitra Limbu of Premier International. However, with Nepali parents also looking for globally saleable education for their children, they too are willing to pay the higher fees.

Studies have shown that early childhood development programs not just give children a strong social, emotional, and cognitive foundation but also help to retain them at primary and secondary levels. While families in rural areas don’t have the same luxury as Kathmandu’s parents, the government is gradually expanding pre-primary education and has opened over 30,000 early childhood developments centres around the country with the aim of reaching out to children across 75 districts.


Checklist

1.Take a tour of the school before filling out any form. It helps in understanding the overall environment.

2. Make sure there is an indoor as well as an outdoor play area that are safe. Children should get to move as much as they like.

3. Ensure that the quality of teachers is up to mark. Choose a school that has experienced and passionate staff with adequate training and education.

4. Balanced teacher-student ratio: children at this age need utmost care and attention. If a teacher has to handle too many students at once, she won’t be able to pay attention to your child’s individual needs.

5. Location is important. It is best to select a school that is close to your home or office as it will save young children from the unnecessary hassle of travelling from one corner of town to another.

6. Good hygiene is another critical factor. Visit the rest room and you’ll understand how much attention the school pays to cleanliness.

7. If your children have to use school buses and vans, make sure they aren’t crammed in the vehicle and there is a staff accompanying them all the time.

8. Take a good look at the curriculum. Enroll your child in the school only if the curriculum appeals to you and is devised to foster confidence, self-esteem, and love of learning among kids.


Teachers’ corner

The development need of every child is different so teachers need to be patient and help children explore, experiment, and experience as much as they want to at their own pace.

Dipti Acharya, Bridgewater Preschool

The foundation years at preschool are crucial since this is the time when children develop their gross motor skills and their learning patterns.

Gita Puri, Rupy’s Children Castle

Activity based learning tailored according to the requirements of the students is essential for sharpening young minds.

Rajesh Chaudhary, Rajarshi Gurukul

Providing high quality education for children before they turn five yields significant long-term benefits. We put emphasise on children constructing knowledge through exploration and play.

Nadege Lecomte, Ullens Kindergarten

Our teaching strategies are tailored to student responses and requirements which are based on learning by playing methods.

Kabita Parajuli, Corona International School

No matter what kind of courses the schools claim to offer, parents should do some research beforehand and see if children are being overburdened by the curriculum.

Nawaraj Baskota, Kavya School

The kind of the care we offer is totally different from that offered at regular schools. We not only pay attention to education, but also focus on the overall development of the children.

Angad Singh, Stepping Stones

Every kid is special so we work according to their needs. We don’t believe in handing out homework as a means of educating a child.

Sharmila KC, Blooming Flower

Whatever the children learn at this stage will set the foundation of learning so it is important to teach them with patience and care. Palpasa Maharjan, Times International School

Our focus is on wholesome learning through hands on activities supported by field trips. Our qualified faculty ensures that children can relate lessons learnt in the classroom to the environment outside.

Vibha Rana, Montessori Cottage

Children shouldn’t feel burdened by pressure from school. learning through play method should is the best.

Pushpa Rijal, City Montessori Training Center

Preschools are stepping stones for children where they learn to explore and enjoy their surroundings. Monika Pradhan Rajbhandari, Shemrock Keen Kiddies

We have introduced smart class where children are encouraged to be more curious and learn through discoveries.

Sirish Khadka, Olympia School

We impart the joy of learning in children from an early age through inquiry based education so that they find the transition to formal education easier and do well in higher grades.

Pawitra Limbu, Premier International Preschool

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