Parents have been urged to stop blaming schools for their children’s deficiencies and start doing more educating at home by the West Australian Education Minister, Peter Collier.
The ABC is reporting that Mr Collier said there was evidence that an increasing number of children were starting pre-primary without basic skills – including the ability to paint a picture, count or hold a pencil.
He added that the on-entry testing results were showing that parents simply were not putting in the time with their children that used to happen in the past.
“Data from the 2015 on-entry assessments of all pre-primary children in public schools shows nearly one quarter lacked basic literacy skills, such as the ability to write their names or recognise simple rhyming words,” Mr Collier told the ABC,”Unfortunately schools are being blamed for a whole raft of things. Fundamentally a child’s education must commence at home. We can do as much as we can … but fundamentally we must have the support of parents.”
In an attempt to encourage parents to be more involved with their children’s education, the State Government has launched a $500,000 television and online advertising campaign.
The ads, which feature the State Government’s “Bigger Picture” branding, direct parents to educational videos which contain tips on readiness for school.
A pre-primary teacher at Karrinyup Primary School, Liz Beament featured in the advertisements and also spoke with the ABC.
“Over the last few years we’ve noticed there’s been quite a decline in some of the skills that children used to come in with from home,” she said. “One of them is their fine motor control, so the small muscles in their fingers that help for example hold a pen, hold a paintbrush, do craft and help cutting.
“We feel that the parents aren’t doing as much of that at home as they used to do. IT has taken over now … swiping a screen is never going to give your child strength in their fingers and fine motors.”
She said it was her opinion that many parents were not aware of how important the early years were in a child’s development.
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