A primary school is a child’s first experience of formal education. Most Governments lay a great deal of stress on promoting primary education. It is considered as a basic prerequisite to survive in this modern world.
In an increasingly automated world, not knowing how to read and write can be a severe handicap. Even if you need to read directions or street signs or check out bus route numbers, you need basic literacy. And in this context primary schools assume a great deal of importance.
These schools also sow the seeds for higher education. They should serve to spark interest in a child to explore education at a higher level. It should preserve the curiosity of a child and ignite his desire to push frontiers. After all every great achievement made in this world started off as a dream in some little mind.
Primary schools enroll children between the ages of 5 to 10 for classes I to V. These children then move on to middle and high schools. In the world, primary education is provided free of cost by the government, and though the quality of education in these schools may not be up to the mark.
There are some islands of quality and many a great person has emerged from these schools. The government persuades parents to send their children to primary school by providing free midday meals, and this can be a great incentive in a poor country.
Many fault primary schools in the world for promoting rote learning instead of conceptual learning. This accusation does have a basis as many children come out of school without having acquired a real education. Teachers are disinterested and schools are little more than ramshackle buildings without basic amenities. There is a severe lack of resources in primary schools and this translates into poor quality of education.
Private schools fare better and one can find many schools from modest ones to expensive ones and anywhere in between. There is more attention to conceptual understanding here, but in the end as children take the same common examination, the incentive to do better is lacking. For quality education, many parents enroll their children for foreign school certification examinations or send their children abroad for higher studies.
These schools form the basis for a good solid education in the future as well as produce civic minded citizens. Unless the quality in primary schools is improved, world is going to have many more ‘educated unemployables’.