The Role of Parents and Pre-primary Education in Promoting Early Numeracy Development to Young Children in Dar es Salaam

Caroline Sobayi


This study examined the role of parents and pre-primary education in the development of early numeracy skills in Dar es Salaam, drawing on a sample of 80 respondents including 36 pre-primary children, 10 pre-primary teachers, six primary school head teachers and 28 parents of pre-primary school children. Data were collected through interviews, observation of indoor and outdoor learning activities and documentary review. The findings revealed that the majority of the parents (92.8%) did not guide children to learn through home activities related to numeracy for different reasons including being too busy. It was also established that learning activities provided in most pre-primary education were inappropriate for the children, since the level of number activities stipulated in the syllabus were below children’s level of number function and development. Overcrowded classes and poorly arranged sitting plans made teachers fail to interact closely with individual children. Learning materials relevant to the basic pre-counting skills were also lacking in most pre-primary classes. Children were generally taught counting instead of how to count. The study recommend that parents should learn how to create supportive children's learning environment at home; participate actively in children's learning activities and providing relevant learning materials to their children. The pre-primary education teachers should attend proper training to improve teaching and learning methodology for pre-primary learning. The pre-primary education should reinforce the teacher-parent relationship through school-parent meetings, parents’ day, class visit and close communication with parents.

Key words: Early numeracy, pre-primary education, preschool, home learning environment

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