A study of Early Childhood Education Provision for Preschool Children in Dilla Town, SNNPR

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of this study was to investigateearly childhood education provision for preschool childrenand to explore appropriateness of the curriculum preschools use and identify the most pressing challenges that are influencing the preschool curriculum implementation in Gedeo zone of Dilla town, SNNPR.A total of 38 participants were selected purposefully and involved on interviews and focus group discussions. A qualitative case study approach was employed to extract in-depth information from the participants and preschool contexts. Accordingly, data were collected through interviews, observations, focus group discussions, document analysis, and video and photographing. The data were analyzed qualitatively and major themes and subthemes were identified from the transcribed data. The findings of the study revealed that the study participants had understanding concerning the role and values of the ECE for children‟s holistic learning and development. Accordingly, access for preschool education opportunity was increased in the different types of preschool education program (e.g. government, private, religious, NGO); however, access of the preschool education opportunity was not created for children with disabilities/special needs because of lack of awareness and negative attitude of the preschool administrators, teachers, parents and the community towards causes of disabilities and education of children with disabilities. Findings of this study also revealed that preschools used various kinds of curricula from different sources. Moreover, the study revealed that in consequence of these curricula from different sources, the curricula that were practiced in the preschools were not age appropriate. Finding of the study showed that academic areas focused curricula and teacher-centered teaching-learning approaches were more influential practices in the preschools rather than play-based curricula. Besides, findings of the study revealed that the appropriateness of ECE provision was challenged because of traditionally teachers and parents held experiences, teachers‟ low motivation, lack of adequate physical learning environment and facilities as well as large class size. In general ECE provision in most preschools was not followed appropriate play-based curriculum as recommended in regional or national preschool curriculum.