Webinar: Anjum Rajabali and Aditi Mehta on “The Learning Gap”

Club1BR in association with NIE organised a special webinar on the topical issue of The Learning Gap and Strategies to Bridge it.

What is The Learning Gap?

The learning gap is the gap between what a child should have learnt and what s/he has learnt at any age. In India, all studies point to a significant learning gap in both math and language in early primary years. This gap widens with age – i.e. the kids who had a small gap at age 8 end up with a wide gap by age 15. This makes it crucial to identify this gap and address it as early as possible so that the child does not face the consequences.

The pandemic has made this worse because of the “learning slide” – a gap in education that causes the child to slide back. Azeem Premji University published reports on The Loss of Learning during the Pandemic. A striking statistic from the report: on an average, 92% of children have lost at least one specific language ability from the previous year across all classes. The percentage is higher at the younger age – primary classes than the older classes. This creates an urgency to address both the learning gap and the learning slide.

The Experts:

Anjum Rajabali

Anjum Rajabali is one of India’s best known screenwriters, with over ten feature film credits including Raajneeti, The Legend of Bhagat Singh and Ghulam. He wrote his first film Drohkaal in 1992, in collaboration with director Govind Nihalani. He’s mentored writers at many international script labs and has also been a script doctor and consultant to several well-known films. In 2004, he designed the Course in Screenplay Writing at FTII and in 2006 he set up the Screenwriting department at Whistling Woods, Mumbai. Anjum holds a Masters’ Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pune.

Aditi Mehta:

Aditi is an experienced educator, trainer, curriculum designer and language learning expert. She heads Academic Excellence and Impact for the Freadom platform, which provides skill-based and joyful online English language learning for over 2,00,000 children. In the past decade, she has designed one of India’s most premier in-school reading programs which continues to benefit over 65,000 children between the ages of 3-10 today as well. She has also co-designed India’s first diagnostic reading assessment F-AST along with her team at S2M in collaboration with The Australian Council of Education Research.  She has been trained in curriculum development, research, counseling and coaching. She holds a masters degree in Organisational and Social Psychology from the London School of Economics.

Top Learnings from the Webinar

  1. From a young age, children should be exposed to stories, mythology, books. Literature, books and mythology should be included in our education system. Meaningful stories will provoke their imagination and encourage them to expand their mind. It will contribute to an all-round intellectual development. Children learn more by expressing themselves and asking questions.
  2. Create a time for parents and teachers to interact with each other. Allowing parents to share their suggestions and observations. just being heard, will create a partnership between the parents and teachers. Both parents and teachers are working towards the development of the child.
  3. Recognition has become difficult in a virtual world. Lack of being seen adds to burnout. Have a conversation with your family to establish boundaries when you are working. Create a space for yourself.
  4. The Pandemic has forced us to re-examine our standards of measuring learning. There has been a massive change in how learning is measured. Going forward, we need to think about how we can measure learning without using exams and grades. The over-emphasis on exams destroys creativity and creates anxiety.
  5. Children are learning more in the pandemic. Children may not have learnt academically but they have grown as people. They have learnt a great new amount of new technology and are now taking exams online. Children now understand what personalised learning really means. A combination of online and offline learning is the way to go. Educators have to set up an infrastructure to accommodate this. The learning gap is an academic learning gap.
  6. Education means to aid a child in discovering himself/herself. Education should help a child discover what is their aptitude and what they like. Education should help a child discover themselves and progress towards what they want to be. Education should allow a child to explore themselves in a more formal and protected environment.

Here’s the video of the webinar

If you have only 2 minutes, then check out the segment at 47:30.


The Club1BR program is our initiative to create 1 Billion Readers by 2025. If you are a school that believes in the power of reading like we do, drop a comment with your school name and email id in the comments section and we will reach out to you.

fREADom App

A productive screen time app for ages 3 to 12, that focuses on improving English Language skills.


Online English classes for ages 5 to 12. Proven methods for children to improve academic performance and confidence.

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