From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
Some education and psychology experts in Nigeria have linked rushing a child to school with mental stress and low emotional intelligence that could lead to domestic violence, drug abuse and even suicide.
The professionals spoke on Friday in Abuja at the 2022 Children’s Day celebration of A Mother’s Love Initiative, a non-governmental organization, in a bid to celebrate the Nigerian child.
They called on parents, guardians, teachers, school owners and all stakeholders to celebrate every Nigerian child, their moments and stages in life, and allow children to grow at their own pace.
They also called on government at all levels and education authorities to step up their school monitoring and awareness-raising efforts to ensure that schools across the country strictly adhere to the curriculum as prescribed by law.
Speaking on the sidelines of the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of A Mother’s Love initiative, Hannatu Ewenmadu, said that psychosocial maladjustments are inflicted on adolescents and young people by pressing them through their educational stages. and development that threaten their existence and well-being.
She said: “Based on the research we’ve done, we say that when you squeeze children during their childhood it has an impact on their social and emotional development and that also affects them as a person as they grow. they progress.
“Because we are squeezing our children, you see children who are around eight years old in secondary schools after skipping four whole years in primary school and that has a huge impact on a Nigerian child which also affects our country .
“As we said earlier, we have to sensitize our people, we have to educate them, we have to re-educate them on the implications about pressing children.
“We also call on society to focus on child-focused interventions as children are fast becoming an endangered species in Nigeria with the wave of kidnappings from schools and all sorts of vices that children are exposed to in the Nigeria.
Also speaking, Adeyemi Adebayo, Teacher Development Specialist and Director of the Lagos State Department of Education, said accelerating children through school enables them to skip critical stages of learning that should make them emotionally mature and able to maintain a home and withstand the pressures of life. .
According to Adebayo, “When you see parents urging their children to go to school, they think about their growth but not about their development. Psychology tells us that every child has three areas of development. You have the cognitive domain, which has to do with mental ability, you have the affective domain, which has to do with feelings and social relationships, and you have the psychomotor domain, which has to do with kinetics – the use hands. Thus, parents who emphasize children’s cognitive abilities only send their children to school and promote them based on 33% of what the children are able to do.
“So you see that society is full of malnourished children. Malnourished not in body, but in mind. When you see a young man, very intelligent. He arrives at university at 14 and leaves before he is 19 and he gets married. He starts beating his wife and you start wondering why despite his intelligence. He is emotionally deficient. It is therefore a child fully developed in these three areas that you can call a properly formed child. This initiative is therefore timely. It will solve many problems regarding what we experience in our homes, in our schools and in the country in general.
“There is nothing wrong with our curriculum. The Nigerian curriculum will address the Nigerian problem. The advice to the government is that there could be proper oversight of schools. I think private schools are more culpable of enrolling minor children because they want to earn money, so the government should be firm, advise them as well, they should know the implications of what they are doing.
In addition, the Principal of Bankys Private School and outgoing President of the National Association of Private School Owners (NAPPS), FCT Section, Olusola Bankole, lamented that parents go so far as to falsify birth certificates to their children to facilitate their rush to school. . She argued that such actions are part of the reason for so much moral decay in society today.
According to her, “A child in a hurry takes a child out of his stage. He does not allow children to be children. It is to make children quickly become adults. Let them miss the place where they should be and that creates a lot of problems. I left primary school when I was in fourth grade, so I missed two classes. And I didn’t recover from it until I left university I had to pay the price. There were a lot of things I didn’t know because I wasn’t mature enough.
“Parents are most guilty of this. You see parents go so far as to falsify a birth certificate to increase the age of the child. I had an experience at my school. They even told the child to lie about his age when asked. I had to tell the parents to bring their child. This is why our values are eroding. You see children who have an entitlement mentality and who cannot take responsibility. She affirmed.