At least 58 per cent of the teachers believe that children missed on social skills during Covid-induced school closures and get distracted easily due to reduced attention spans, according to a survey on learning loss and education recovery.
The survey also found that less than 50 per cent of the children are able to catch up with age-appropriate learning following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 48,000 students participated in the survey conducted by the Smile Foundation. It covered urban, rural and aspirational districts of 22 states.
“Fifty-eight per cent of the teachers were of the opinion that children have missed on social skills and now get distracted easily. Their attention span has gone low (been shortened).
“According to teachers, less than 50 per cent of the children have been able to cope with the learning loss over the last two years and are able to catch up on (with) their age-appropriate learning currently,” it said.
These are mostly those students who had been regularly performing well prior to the pandemic as well. Hence, bringing the rest of the students at par with their expected learning level will require some time and effort in the upcoming months, the survey said.
It noted that parents have started getting more involved in their wards’ education.
Forty-seven per cent of the parents were of the view that there is an increased interaction between them and teachers in schools as well as over phone calls, it said.
“Thirty-eight per cent of the parents started interacting with teachers by visiting schools and there is a 27 per cent increase in attendance in parent-teacher meetings (PTMs).
“Fifty per cent of parents interviewed felt the absence of digital learning resources like devices, networks and data packs made the learning experience inadequate for the children during the pandemic,” the survey said.
Thirty-one per cent of the parents said their most preferred mode of learning during the pandemic was direct classes in offline mode or cluster classes, it said.
“Twenty per cent (of the parents) felt worksheets and visits by teachers were very convenient and useful,” it said.
“At least 69 per cent of the parents believe children need more support in Math and English to cope with age-appropriate learning levels,” the survey stated.
Post-pandemic, parents’ interaction with their children has also increased.
“Fifty-eight per cent of the parents increased their interactions with children, trying to understand what they have learnt in schools, (and) 26 per cent of the parents also started spending some quality time with (their) children,” it added.
Based on the survey, experts have recommended in the report that creating opportunities and spaces for “increased ownership of children in their learning process” as well as in school functioning through various means such as formation of student council (Bal Sansad), hobby clubs, student-driven initiatives such as campaigns etc., is imperative. This will ensure improved participation in the learning process and their wholesome development.
In order to promote and leverage the participation of community volunteers, the report recommends creating a cadre of local volunteers — ‘Shikshamitras’ — to cater to the learning needs of students.