School at 3? "Let my kids be kids, president Macron"

After French President Emmanuel Macron announced that all children would have to start school at age 3, our readers responded with their thoughts on introducing the policy in South Africa.
After French President Emmanuel Macron announced that all children would have to start school at age 3, our readers responded with their thoughts on introducing the policy in South Africa.

French president Emmanuel Macron recently announced that, at the start of the 2019 school year, school will become compulsory for all children from the age of 3. Macron explained that the change will hopefully fight inequality in overseas territories and the poorest areas of mainland France in particular, where more parents opt not to send their children to preschool.

Macron said, in a conference organised to discuss pre-school education, this would be a “founding moment in the French education system”, one that would “correct this unacceptable differential”.

After publishing Macron’s plans and asking our readers if we should also make early childhood development compulsory for all children in South Africa from age 3, some thought it was a brilliant idea. Others, not so much. Here’s what you had to say:

"It's better for the children"

Robyn says not everyone can benefit from maternity leave beyond 4 months. She continues: "What I will say is that it's not so bad, they learn music and develop fine and gross motor skills as the teachers encourage independence, creativity and confidence. Their social skills are developed early and the kids love school because they get such a long play time."

She concludes that perhaps children should start even earlier in a play group for a few hours a week. "To be honest, the kids i have seen that start at 3 completely freak out the first day and it takes 2 weeks for them to settle as they are petrified of not being with their mother (separation anxiety isn’t a good thing) as well as it's so overwhelming going from just mom and kid to teachers and other kids and a routine and discipline! I think if kids are only going to start school at age 3 then maybe they need to go to play group for a few hours a week so it won't be so hectic when they do start school."

“We as parents should teach our children their early fundamentals”

Craig sent us a letter:

"It is very sad that the human race leads such a fast-paced life and the fact that if both parents don't work to put food on the table and pay bills, the children suffer. We are already neglecting our children because of this because we are forcing them into daycare centers at such early ages. We as parents should teach our children their early fundamentals, not a complete stranger. Children should stay at home until the age of 5 so that they can get the personal lovely attention from their parents.

"My son went to school from the age of 1 year and it was the biggest mistake I ever made. Not only was he abused by older children but the teachers themselves. I took my child out of the public school and my wife is now homeschooling him. He went from a 65% aggregate to a 97% aggregate. My three-year-old gets taught by my wife as well and has shown a better learning ability than what my first son did at his age. One has to ask how good the schooling systems really are. They find so many things wrong with the child, instead of helping them shine."

"Improve the existing education system"

An anonymous reader wrote in about concerns over the current education system:

"Most of our teachers appear to be ill-equipped to do the job they are being paid to do. Our average student is not ready for university or the job market when they finish school. A better idea would be to improve the existing education system.

"Why would it be a good idea to make it compulsory to remove a child from a caring home environment and place them in this non-functional schooling system?"

“I’d rather let my kids be kids”

Jonathan explains how he feels, saying, "You only get to have that for 6 years. After that you have a whole 70+ years of responsibility, worries and stress to look forward to. Besides, if your kid is intelligent enough they will make up for those 'lost' three years of school education afterwards."

Do you agree that kids should just be left to be kids? Or will they beenfit from starting preschool at such a young age? Tell us by emailing and we may publish your comments.

Read more:

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24