The COVID-19 Effect: Learning Loss In Early Childhood And How To Mitigate It

  • Embrace Public-Private Partnerships: Even before the pandemic, a report by Redseer and Omidyar Network India estimated that by 2022, the K-12 edtech market in India will be worth USD 1.7 billion. With education moving online due to school closures, this figure looks set to change. Successful examples of public-private partnerships in commercial infrastructure, transport, energy, communication, etc., serve as an inspiration for adopting this model in education too. Partnerships and wide-scale collaborations with educationally inclined companies, foundations, and governments can bring in the necessary innovation and help the government ensure speedy NEP 2020 execution, to mitigate the effects of COVID-induced learning loss.
  • Train Educators: A key factor to ensure the learning loss does not have far-reaching effects is educator empowerment via training. Teachers, Anganwadi workers, and other educators are at the heart of early childhood education. Simply put, we need to upskill our educators to recognise and work around the learning loss their students’ exhibit, using appropriate 21st century skills.
  • Use Digital Tools Effectively: Education-led technology is an effective tool to overcome the effects of the pandemic on our children’s education. The NEP 2020 recognises this, emphasising, “Technology-based education platforms, such as DIKSHA/SWAYAM, will be better integrated across school and higher education,(…).” A combination of digital and physical learning can upgrade existing outreach programs and build future-ready skills in children while addressing the learning gap.
  • Motivate Children To Grow: Applying labels and sorting children as per their learning loss will only add stigma and shake these young learners’ confidence, say experts. Using assessments and diagnostic tools should be used wisely to guide individual student needs and not simply to judge or rank these children, teachers, and schools. States and regions need to identify which areas, and subsequently, which children need more support, and rise to the occasion by honouring the needs of children without segregating them from their peers. Only then can we usher in a better, fairer era of education in the aftermath of COVID-19.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store