Webinar: Giri Balasubramaniam, Asha Girdhar and Amrutash Misra 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:

Giri Balasubramaniam

Giri is an expert quiz master and educator. He brings with him a vast experience in not just communication skills but also wit and intelligence building among the young. He is also the quizmaster and CEO of Asia’s largest onstage quizzing and knowledge services company “Greycaps India Pvt Limited”.

Asha Girdhar:

Asha is an author of Children’s books and short stories. She is also a Creative Writing coach for children and has mentored over 15,000 children in creative writing and creative visualization. Ms. Asha wrote a weekly interactive educatisonal series titled “Sonny & Zap” in The Jakarta Post without a break for 15 years from 2005 to 2019. She brings to this panel a vast experience in blending the educational subjects with imagination.

Amrutash Misra:

Amrutash is an alumnus of IIT-Madras and IIM-Bangalore. He was an engineer at Unilever when he decided to quit and come back to the world he loves – books. Currently heading growth marketing at Stones2Milestones, Amrutash is responsible for Club1br, a unique community program which is on a mission to raise 1 Billion Readers. Club1br is the talk of the town with almost 500 schools taking memberships in the very first month!

5 Top Learnings from the Webinar

  1. Four Focus Areas to address the Learning Gap for Schools
    1. Teacher Wellness
    2. Teacher Efficacy
    3. Bring in the Framework of the NEP – new skills, new tools and new framework
    4. Clarity on scholastic and non-scholastic input to the student
  2. Five Point Approach
    1. A Community approach
    2. Digital Content and Methods of teaching
    3. Language skills need to be focused on
    4. Skill building for teachers
    5. Will to learn and teach.
  3. Easiest way to bring in student involvement is to make it fun for them. Teach children situation management. Create scenarios and activities and let the children organize them and handle them.
  4. There is a direct co-relation between language capability and performance in the examination. A child underperforms because they do not understand the question being asked. It is not a learning gap but an understanding gap. A child fails to answer not because they don’t know the answer but because they cannot understand the question being asked.
  5. Five Strategies to provide socio-emotional support to young learners:
    1. Acknowledge the child’s presence
    2. Praise the child
    3. Reward the child
    4. Extend your class to the parent and involve at least one parent
    5. Have a 1-on-1 with each child in your class – even if it is only for a few minutes

Here’s the video of the webinar:

If you have only 2 minutes, then check out the segment at 32:50.

Club1BR

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.

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

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