“Learning is not the filling of a pail, but lightening of a fire.”- W.B. Yeats
A vibrant education system is the basis of a nation’s growth and prosperity. Primary education is the initial stage of formal education where education is not about learning facts but more so about how to think.
In the last decade, India has made a rapid progress in reinforcing its primary education system.
What is primary school?
Primary education is the first systematic education, it required no formal previous education, and it starts at the age of 6 years from grade1 and typically lasts until the age of 11years till grade 5.
Primary education is also called elementary education. In nutshell, it provides students with a basic understanding of various basic subjects as well as, the skills they will use throughout their lives. It fosters learning process and focus on strategies, which assist students in developing their creative and critical thinking.
Structure of Primary Education in India
Primary sector in India includes state funded schools, semi-aided schools and private schools. Primary education is five-year cycle in India from first to fifth class. Pupils normally transfer to post-primary or middle school at the age of twelve.
Primary education in India is the foremost challenge for governments. A large number of children are still being denied of what is called a fundamental human right as per Indian law.
In India, primary education forms a part of elementary education or compulsory education from ages 1 to 14 years. It is mandatory for all the children to enroll in this stage of education as per law; the government of India also recognized the fact that primary education is the foundation for entire super structure of nation.
Objectives of Primary Schools?
The objectives of primary schools today and in the future necessitate children to be critically literate so that they can fuse information, make informed decisions, and communicate capably to prosper in an ever-changing world.
Aim of Primary Education
In the age of globalization and technological advancement, we need to prepare our children to thrive in future. Our schools should build competencies for 21st century while preserving the values of Indian culture. The basic aims of primary education are:
To identify his life as an individual
Citizen education as one of the main aims of all round education
Full and harmonious development of children
Promotion of spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and in school and society
To prepare pupils for the opportunities responsibilities and experiences of the adult life
Emphasize, in addition to the acquisition of basic skills to literacy, arithmetic and reading; there are other skills that are necessary live happily and usefully both as children and as adults.
Curriculum at the Elementary School
Teachers at the primary school level play constructive role in molding the career of young children. A wide range of grade levels encompasses the elementary school. Mostly, elementary school teachers concentrate on a particular grade level, teaching different fundamental subjects ranging from mathematics, social studies, science, music, physical education, and language arts.
Primary school dwells on laying the foundation for an all-rounded education. Besides the numeracy and literacy skills, there is pressing need for our children to become:
Confident- who can judge right and wrong, can think on his own, reasons and can communicate
Active Contributor- who innovates, works well with teams and learns to contribute and exercises, and strive towards excellence
Self directed learner- who questions and explores, perseveres and takes responsibility for his own learning
A concerned citizen- who is concerned about his country, has strong sense of civic responsibility and takes an active part in betterment of people around him.
It is vital that curriculum at primary schools should be based on- fit individual needs, be tailored to age and ability and attitude. Besides gaining skills, pupils are able to understand what is taught, how it is taught, and how it can be applied to the world at large.
Typical Activities in Primary Schools
The following activities form part of an primary school:
Ø From the day one, primary school students are taught how to move in line, raise their hands, and hear a story.
Ø Children pick up abilities to read and write.
Ø The emphasis is made on developing basic academic skills and establishing children’s study habits.
Ø Teachers pay individual attention to students helping them deal with specific learning challenges.
Ø Develop and implement classroom rules to teach students about proper behavior.
Ø Judge the abilities, strengths and weaknesses of students.
Ø Grade students on the basis of assignments taken by them.
Ø High principles of conduct, responsibility and efficiency are maintained during the stages of primary school.
Ø The educational program is centered on involving parents for building their children’s individual growth.
Ø Apart from formal lessons, children are taught games, crafts and other pleasurable activities.
Ø Self-views of children and those of the world are given a shape.
Ø Children stand the chance of taking up classroom-based field experience in diverse settings.
Tips for Parents
In preschool, steps are taken to get the children acquainted with the school environment and the new teacher, whereas in primary schools, curriculum is developed for a well-rounded learning. Besides, students are given a solid base for secondary education and above all, to become caring citizen and imparting skills that go long way in leading happy life.