Need to create a steep change in student learning


The online education substituting physical learning during past 500 days has resulted in logs of learning in spite of students passing their exams. Such a sudden & all-encompassing crisis has never confronted our system ever before. Naturally our poor funded education system in India was inflicted a further loss.
Of India's 20 million school chil dren, around 30 million children have continued with a semblance of education in these soo days. It is feared. Online education has turned ineffective for children because of
the nature of imparting Impersonal education and how they learn; never middle-class homes having better access to digital tools to a greater extent arrested the loss by augmenting personal tutoring and other learning resources.
The leaming loss for so many million children in the country in all its severity was anticipate able. In the vast number of less fortunate schools, millions of children were at a loss of real education, with its substitution by a days functional digital system. The online education that was regarded as a saviour for loss of learning became a barrier among the students as well as the teachers serving them, inflicting irreparable losses.
Research all around has made the extent of lose look much more apparent. The NCERT Survey has made clear that almost 27 per cent of school children had no access to online education at all With the students not attending schools for such long periode they didn't learn what they should have learnt in that period, and might have as much forgot ten what they learnt so far. Even when schools reopen the absence of any systemic effort to recover the last learning will lead to further exuberant ingredient of this loss. One researcher, Michelle Kaffenberger from The Brookings in the USA examined how school closures affect the leaming of today's grade three students in low and middle-Income countries through class 10 1f nothing is done to mitigate the consequences, Her model suggests that if learning in class three is reduced by one-third, roughly the amount of time many children are likely to be out of school, learning levels in class 10 would be a full year lower than they would have been with no shock This is because children have fallen behind the level of instruction while out of school and continue fall ing further behind as the curriculum progresses once they return. In the physical learning regime there was a cry about students learn ing for exams. At least it was assumed that the students were learning. In the new online order the problem is more severe e students from the KG to the UKG in the race to score more often cheated or copied, thus implying a complete loss of learning. Since the city-based students have the support of family members and enough sources, their loss of learning has been lese. Even more importantly, these children go to schools that are well resourced parents expect these schools to ensure that a substantial part of the loss is recovered with the extra efforts that their resources enable once they reopen.
The reduced syllabi' during the pandemic led to loss of that minimum leaming that was mandated to the minimum. The primary school students have lost their formative years where they were to pick up cognitive, linguistic, and numeric skills rapidly while a sizeable number of secondary school children lost the extra push and prod, which a digital ecosystem fails to provide. For some children, the loss of an adult watching over them made them mea-nder away from learning
Online education has created not only a digital divide in the lives of students, but also in the ves of the teachers. The online education for stu dents has bared the digital divide due to unaffordability of smart phones, primarily for the economically weaker sections while teachers from government schools and affordable private schools bore the brunt of this ine. quality for numerous reasons. Ranging from training to infrastructure to support, such teachers found themselves not effective enough in important online education when compared to their peers in elite schools. The experienced teachers were at a loss with respect to potential layoffs, salary de. ductions coupled Even
experienced teachers were at a loss for content and
requisite skill for teaching.
As we start to prepare for opening up schools we need to get ready to undo the learning losses. While we Reflect over the losses due to online education, let us not direct the narrative on bridging the technological divide alone. The focus must also be on student-related inequities as well as losses faced by teachers serving these students. Along with access to both technology and live teaching, students need a daily schedule that builds in formal opportunities for engagement, collaboration, and feedback. School systems should also empower teachers with new ways to share practices and receive professional development In an online format.
Kaffenberger notes that the steps that education systems will need to take to conduct remedial education including implementing assessments to identify children's learning levels, training and empowering teachers to adapt their instruction and pedagogical practices to students levels and needs, and prioritising children's attainment of essential skills may turn out to be
well-proven strategies for improving learning outside of a crisis context.
It's high time that the school systems need to
create a steep change in student learning if we are to catch up on what has been lost through this pandemic. Not recovering this lost learning will undermine the future education of all our children.
(Views expressed are personal)

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