Home education 70%-80% parents fear learning loss in children: NCEE survey

70%-80% parents fear learning loss in children: NCEE survey

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BENGALURU: A survey by the National Coalition of Education Emergency in three states – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana – has found that 70-80% parents felt that their children’s ability to read and write during the pandemic had declined or stayed the same or they were unable to assess it. In the survey covering 500 lower income families and conducted from October 2021 to January 2022, many parents expressed fears about the future of their children. “They noted that children have forgotten alphabets. The concerns were about the lack of practical, experiential learning, the fact that children will not be prepared for exams and that the extent of the gap is so high that children may not be able to catch up,” said the survey. The study pointed out that where the language spoken at home is different from the formal language in schools, children will need additional support. These students would have been promoted two grades and will have to cope up with language materials that are likely much too advanced for them.

The parents highlighted changed behavior, lack of focus and attention and addiction to mobile phones amongst their children. “Parents noted the following types of changes: lack of routine and discipline; inability to focus; lack of motivation and interest in education; addiction to mobile phone, games and TV; changes in eating habits; mental stress and loneliness,” the survey said.
“Several parents noted that young children, in particular, had lost even the daily routines of eating and hygiene. Many of these parents are working outside the home and have nobody to supervise the children at home,” said the survey,” it said. Around 91% were getting either cooked meals or dry rations in Karnataka. Less than 50% of the parents said they received communication about the academic performance of the child. The situation was worse in private schools than in government schools.

In government schools in Karnataka, less than two thirds of students had all textbooks. Almost all students in private schools in Telangana and Tamil Nadu had all textbooks, only 72% of private students had this in Karnataka. The inability to pay fees in private schools and the extra financial cost of online classes (paying for devices and data), whether in government or private schools were noted.
“The opinions about online education are unequivocal: that children learnt virtually nothing. The study also highlights that the period of school closures deepened inequality in the system: those parents who could support their children’s online education felt that their children had made academic progress, even during the pandemic,” said the study.

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