Chennai: “Traditional joint family system provided huge opportunities for children to learn life lessons. However, nuclear families now have nullified that. So, it’s high time we concentrated on early childhood education,” says Uma Chandrasekar, Operational Head for Podar Jumbo Kids in Tamilnadu.
The 46-year-old resident of Porur in Chennai is an expert in teaching children below six years. “I had a beautiful childhood, and developed passion for teaching children. I got introduced to this field through my friend,” says Uma.
WHAT IS KIDUCATION?
It is simply the education from a child’s point of view. Everything, including the syllabus and activities, is designed based on children’s needs.
Uma says, “For any child, early education is important. This is when more than 90 per cent of brain development takes place. This forms the base for a child’s future. It also psychologically supports a child’s stability. Previously, children used to grow in a joint family surrounded by relatives, cousins and especially grandparents. They used to play in mud, get drenched in rain and other activities that strengthened their immunity. Today’s scenario is totally opposite. Most of the children’s time now is spent with gadgets, which have, unfortunately, become their companion.”
She goes on to add, “In schools, every child should be treated as unique, and the little one’s talent should be identified. Also, it is important to make the children feel positive by providing a good environment. Only if these three factors work well, the child gets ready to receive lessons. Blindly enrolling them in a school doesn’t help. Also, parents develop unnecessary fear about their kids. They do not let them walk, play or indulge in any such physical activities.”
Uma says language and communication development are important aspects in a child’s life. “As far as we have observed, the first child in a family struggles to talk at the right age. This is due to lack of communication between them and their parents. For a child to talk, parents should keep talking to them and keep trying. But this is not happening in today’s scenario.”
“Next comes personal, social and emotional development. A child should be advised to share things; have patience, like when waiting for something; accept others’ views and so on. All these are received well only through early childhood education. Parents should understand education is not just about teaching alphabets and numbers, but it is about the values they learn out of it.” Children who go through this type of education happily accept school environment, assures Uma.
“I am planning to do a doctorate in this field. Currently, I am conducting workshops for children as well as their parents to raise awareness on early childhood education,” says Uma.
Article by PT Usha