TEACHERSâ€™ PERCEPTIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND DEVELOPMENT CENTERS: EFFECTS ON PRE-PRIMARY STUDENTS IN BHUTAN
Keywords:Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Centers; perceptions; developmental skills; Pre-Primary
The mixed methods research aimed at investigating how studentsâ€™ enrollment in Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Centers affected their developmental skills as they began their formal education at the Pre-Primary level through teachersâ€™ perceptions. The respondents comprised of 35 teachersâ€™ teaching the Pre-Primary level across 13 schools in one of the western districts in Bhutan. The quantitative and qualitative data were collected using survey questionnaires and semi-structured interviews respectively. The findings were analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis and thematic analysis. The teachers perceived that the preparedness of the students who attended ECCD Centers before starting Pre-Primary was at a high level (Mean=3.73) in terms of overall developmental skills and opined participation in such programs as important. Hence, the study recommends students participation in such programs before beginning their formal education and the need for prioritization at the national level through increased investment and awareness programs.
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