A Comparative Study of Early Childhood Education in Selected Public and Private Pre-Schools in Kumasi

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A strong provision of pre-school education with children experiencing the same or similar training has the potency of ensuring the achievement of universal primary education for all children. This research adopted the qualitative research method to study and compare pre-school provision in public and private schools with a focus on Ayigya MA and the KNUST Nursery schools as a case study. The two schools are paradigmatic examples of typical public and private pre-schools in Kumasi because they are virtually located in the same administrative district. Primarily, the research compared curriculum and experiences provided the children in Kindergarten One within the two schools and the social and cognitive impact this makes to prepare the children for Kindergarten Two and subsequently primary school. The purposive sampling method was adopted for the study. Data gathered revealed that pupils who were able to write the full set of the 26 English alphabets in the written test conducted constituted 8% in Ayigya MA School as against 40% in KNUST Nursery School. 25% of pupils in Ayigya MA School were however able to write numbers 1 to 10 sequentially as against 44% in KNUST Nursery School. Irrespective of the scores attained, some children from both nursery schools exhibited writing challenges which is typical of children at that age and who have only began to write. Data collected and analyzed concluded that there was significant disparity in the experiences of the children, teacher expertise and experience, academic and play facilities coupled with differences in the social and economic backgrounds of children from Ayigya MA and KNUST Nursery schools. However, the findings suggest that children in both schools exhibited relatively different cognitive and iv social competencies in varied percentages. It is recommended that further research be conducted in other pre-schools to verify the findings of this research.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Philosophy (Art Education) .