Bridge Courses, extra summer classes, ladder programme – these are among the different types of modules newly introduced by pre-primary schools in the city as the running academic year is nearing its end. The idea is to help mitigate the learning loss of part two years, as normalcy resumes steadily in schools.
The pandemic has led to evident learning loss suffered by children, especially in case of children going to pre-primary schools. The foundational reading and mathematical skills taught during these early years are the building blocks for future learning processes. Even as the need for such efforts are echoed by most educationists, which format to follow has become a topic of discussion for schools as well as parents, which has led to different types of modules introduced by schools.
EuroKids Pre-schools in Ghatkopar has customised an Integrated Course with a Summer Club programme, which has been launched to help the children transition. Githa Srridharan, centre head, EuroKids Pre-schools, said, “We know that the last two years have been very stressful for parents and children. Having been confined at home during the pandemic was tough for them. With school resumption post-pandemic, parents are worried, as their children have not attended regular classes over the past two years.”
These summer programmes, in virtual format, will be offered by all EuroKids Pre-schools, of which over 60 are in Mumbai. The programme mainly focuses on relearning and enhancing the skills required to ensure that children are well prepared for the next academic year.
At the pre-school chain of Podar Jumbo Kids, instead of a summer bridge course, there is a ladder programme. “Ladder signifies one step at a time. And teachers will have to take these steps with children as they move ahead, by ensuring that the child knows and understands the concept from previous years, before a new lesson is introduced,” shared Swati Popat Vats, president of Podar Education Network.
This Ladder Programme will be integrated when the next academic year begins as this revision has to be fresh, not more than a couple of weeks before any new concept is introduced. Only extra classes in summer may not be fit for all, according to Vats.
“In the past too, there were students who lagged behind in the expected curriculum targets. But in the pandemic, this number has grown significantly. This evidently has caused a concern for parents,” said Popat, who is also president of Early Childhood Association (ECA), a community of schools and educationists focusing on early years of learning.
Sharing how several schools are seeking clarity on how to bridge this learning gap, Popat mentioned that the ECA is preparing guidelines for the same, which even parents can refer to in order to make informed choices.
Lauding the integrated approach, educationists Francis Joseph, president of SLN Network, a community of school leaders, shared how many schools currently are offering different types of bridge courses.
“Parents need to understand that there cannot be a quick fix for this learning loss. The teachers have to be trained for such an integrated approach, where the learning gap is bridged along with new teaching over a period of time.”