The COVID-19 pandemic has created one of the largest disruptions in education systems in the recent history. This pandemic has not only upended academic sessions and scrapped examinations, but also delayed admissions and created a learning vacuum for students. Sudden closure of schools and other educational institutions have had a severe impact on the children’s daily routines, their social interactions, intellectual abilities and ultimately on their overall mental well-being. Moreover, to understand the extent and nature of the ‘Learning vacuum’ created by the pandemic, let’s have a thorough look on this article below: · Low knowledge absorption: On one hand, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the important role of schools (or other educational institutes) in supporting children’s overall development beyond the acquisition of academic learning. And on other hand, it has completely upended the Indian Education system — forcing the schools to adopt tech-based teaching methodology and remote learning strategies, without certainty about the results. Understanding the learning management system and online content building are the first bottleneck for most teachers.
Firstly, due to lack of training on virtual learning platforms, the school teachers do not understand various controls and functions and hence make the entire online lecture a chaotic affair. Secondly, since most of the teachers do not have any experience or expertise in creating content for online teaching, they’re unable to deliver least or zero value in curriculum teaching and thereby receding the rate of knowledge absorption and retention in students. However, in order to make the online lectures more informative and penetrating, school teachers should undergo a formal training and explore new ways for delivering content, conducting assessments, building interactivity and thereby fostering peer to peer learning. Nevertheless, this formal training demands a proper digital infrastructure, expert-driven training sessions, hands-on experience, expert support and digital literacy — which unfortunately would not only require longer period of time but also huge infrastructural and training investment.
The ‘Loss of Learning’ Phenomenon:
One complete academic year has elapsed in the loop of remote learning and online classes, with little or zero curriculum knowledge in the current class. Equally alarming is the widespread phenomenon of ‘forgetting’ the curricular learnings from the previous class — that includes losing foundational abilities of verbal ability and numeracy skills. As per the recent study, 92% of the pre-schoolers have lost their language ability skills such as describing a picture or a personal experience verbally, reading familiar words, and writing simple sentences based on a photo. Mathematical abilities have too suffered considerable damage — wherein 82% pre-schoolers were unable to identify single or two-digit numbers, perform basic mathematical operations, interpret 2D and 3D shapes and drawing inferences through quantitative data. By seeing such statistical data, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the entire education system (including ECCE and School-level education) to the verge of complete breakdown and have precipitated unprecedented changes in the lives of children.
Hindered cognitive skill development:
With a surge in new coronavirus infections and lockdown restrictions, the pandemic is likely to keep many students out of the classroom until 2021 as well. Due to lack of social interaction and curriculum-based traditional learning, children are missing out on practical learning, peer-to-peer learning and developing critical cognitive skills. Especially young school goers — who are growing up now within the confines of four walls, it is extremely important to focus on building their cognitive capabilities indoors. Cognitive development is the foundation on which kids learn observational skills, perceptual aptitude and develop language and mathematical learning. A better cognitive development will help the child to see the world around them with a different perspective, ask the curious questions, figure out problems, navigate solutions and thereby make independent judgements. In this regard, creating a stimulating, varied and responsive learning environment can lead to better cognitive grasp and problem-solving approach. Additionally, integrating improvisation, curiosity and intuition into your child’s early pedagogy can help your child to enhance their knowledge, strengths and capabilities effectively.
Impact on socio-emotional skills:
The Covid-19 pandemic has not only hampered normal childhood activities such as attending school, interacting physically with peers, playing outdoors, and exploring nature; but also disrupted the consequent socio-emotional benefits — that arises out of children’s engagement in these experiences. Supporting student’s socio-emotional learning may help the child to boost their confidence and allow them to catch up on lost learning and re-engage with the curriculum. Additionally, numerous studies have revealed that there is a strong link between the socio-emotional skills learned in the formative years and their trajectories in future job market. Therefore, it is important to focus on the impact of the child’s socio-emotional learning along with academic knowledge, while helping them to become a well-rounded and confident leader in the future.
In a nutshell, the current situation can be juxtaposed with the fact that we are already facing a crisis in learning, particularly in respect to foundational literacy and numeracy. As a consequence, the overall loss (or regression) of learning is going to lead into a cumulative loss over the years — and not only impact the academic performance of children but also their professional lives, at large. The extent and nature of learning loss is serious enough to warrant action at an individual level, thus, calling the need to fill the learning vacuum created by the pandemic.
In order to ensure that this learning vacuum do not impact the long-term prospects of your child, it’s important to prevent further learning loss through a combination of supplementary support and blended education. To achieve this goal, parents should therefore enrol their kids into expert-designed programs or short-term courses — that would focus on conceptual and application-based learning and thereby strengthen their cognitive abilities, creative expression and improvisation skills.
How BeyondSkool can help in filling this learning vacuum?
BeyondSkool’s IQ+EQ+CQ integrated curriculum is designed to mentor, support, and equip the young minds with the necessary cognitive capabilities and critical skills — that is essential for setting them on the path of becoming our future leaders, innovators and influencers. Built on the approach of developing child’s ‘Multiple Intelligences’ at an early age, BeyondSkool’s ‘Primary Years Enrichment Program’ covers subjects such as STEM, STREAM Innovation, Leadership, Communication and LOGIMATH — that facilitates a holistic cognitive development of the child. When these STEM and STREAM subjects are taught in an interactive learning environment, it makes the brain of the child exquisitely flexible and capable of adaptation, while making them ready for the global new age economy. BeyondSkool’s home-based tasks and term-end capstone projects tends to keep an essential focus on a child’s ability to function as a group, learn the art of self-expression, language, phonetics, motor movements, and enhance their critical competencies. In short, the perfect combination of content-rich curriculum, expert-designed learning pedagogy, industry-best educators and explicit style of teaching — makes BeyondSkool a perfect platform to get your child trained to think independently, be emotionally balanced and socially adaptable.
So, let your child fill this learning vacuum with BeyondSkool today and watch them blossoming into a cognizant, confident and creative leader of tomorrow!
To start your child’s journey with BeyondSkool, book a free class today.