‘A child’s behaviour is formed between age zero and six. That’s why moulding them properly during this period is very important’
The proprietress of Unique Kiddies International School, Nnewi, Anambra State, Mrs. Christianah Olujoke Ezekiel, has urged parents to pay utmost attention to their pre-school kids. “A child’s behaviour is formed between age zero and six,” she said. “That’s why moulding them properly during this period is very important. Once a child is not well formed, mentally, morally and spiritually within this age range, that child is already made. The way a child would behave, his attitude, everything, is formed between age zero and six.”
And moulding them properly is what she and her teachers at Unique Kiddies do and will want to continue doing for the rest of their lives. “Most schools here teach the children in Igbo, except ones that are really of international standard,” she said. “They use Igbo in expressing most concepts they are teaching them. Not that there is anything wrong with that. A child needs to learn his or her mother tongue but they need to do so alongside English. There was one particular child that when he joined us could not express himself in simple English. He would always want to express himself in Igbo. But through my effort and that of my teachers he can now express himself fluently in English. In fact, his parents are happy. There’s a difference between where he is now and where he was when we started. In fact, there was a school close to where they live but somebody encouraged them to bring him to our school. We launched out with August summer lesson last year but when parents saw our passion and, that we meant business, some of them registered their kids with us and eventually started with us in September.”
A graduate of the then Lagos State College of Education (now, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin, Lagos and a retiree of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Ezekiel told The Sun Education that giving pre-school children proper intellectual and moral grounding is what moved her to set up the school which she said is for now concentrating on daycare kids while at the same time teaching and taking care of older pre-school kids.
“I have always been a lover of children. I love seeing them express themselves in their unique ways. I love their unique character and behaviour,” she said. “When you are in their midst you catch a lot of fun. Just like my husband loves them, so I do. I love being in their midst. That’s what made me to start this school. I love taking care of them, cuddling them and watching them grow. I need more of the pre-nursery kids because it will help us to mold them; they are still in a stage of molding. I am not longing for these big ones that are already made, that to correct them becomes a little bit difficult. I am praying to God to give me more of the pre-nursery school kids.”
She said the school that is located, at the moment, at Historical Resource Centre, Nnewichi, is doing all it can to maintain an international standard even though they are in an environment that is not of international standard. “Our desire is to raise an academic system where the kids are properly brought up – mentally, morally and spiritual to become great assets to the society. The vision is not only for now, we are raising them up to be God-fearing children who will stand out and be unique in every sense wherever they are found. ”