In Nigeria, the education system is graded as 6-3-3-4 though quite a few parents argue about the importance of year six. Although, some children have passed their examinations into Secondary school from earlier years; educationists argue that year six is crucial for a child’s development.
According to Ms Esther, a teacher in Lagos, A child must be mentally mature before crossing to secondary school; if not, the child might not be able to cope.
Below are a few points one needs to consider to avoid Inherent dangers of skipping year 6
1. We need to weigh the maturity of the child.
When pupils start secondary school before the age of 10 or 11; the parents feel happy but it does not really help the child long term. However, educationists complain that many of such children are unable to cope with the rigours of secondary education.
The key question for parents is “why make an A student in Year 5, a C student in Year 7?”
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Maturity in terms of academics is different from maturity in social skills which include, making friends and forging interpersonal relationships. It is better for a child to leave primary school when he or she is fully mature academically; physically, and psychologically. This way when he or she gets to secondary school they will be well equipped.
2. Is the child’s foundation for the next stage strong?
Developmental scientists observed that the child’s development follows a path of successive stages. Each stage has its own particular needs which include cognitive, social, physical, moral and emotional. We now understand that much occurs as a preparation for the succeeding one. The more a child realizes his potential in each phase, the stronger he is for the next stage of development.
3. Year 6 can be thought of as the “capstone” of primary learning.
Year 6 is truly where all the pieces come together. This is where the child’s learning is solidified and his knowledge consolidated. Here new possibilities for growth and learning begin to emerge.
What this year of consolidation, leadership does is to prepare the children for the next phase which is Secondary school. We should regard it as a crucial step in the educational process. Skipping this year affects the total readiness of a child in Year 7 and rushes them unnecessarily.