Kids forgot language and maths in Covid year: Study | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: A study by Azim Premji University on learning loss during one year of the Covid-19 pandemic shows that 92% and 82% of children in government schools have lost at least one specific foundational ability from the previous year for language and mathematics respectively.
The study, which covered 16,067 primary school children in 1,137 schools in five states, was released on Wednesday. With schools closed since March 2020, the study pointed out that a complete academic year has elapsed with almost no learning. Apart from that, the phenomenon of students’ ‘forgetting’ learning from the previous class has made it worse.

Learning, not promotion, important, says report
Students of classes 2-6 were assessed on four abilities in language and mathematics which are required for all subsequent learning. These include reading a paragraph with comprehension, expressing the gist in one’s words and adding and subtracting numbers.
While pre-Covid abilities were tested based on teachers’ interaction with children, post-Covid abilities were tested through oral and written tests.
According to the findings, 92% of class 2, 89% in class 3, 90% in class 4 and 95% in class 5 and 93% of grade 6 students lost one specific ability like writing sample sentences based on a picture, reading with comprehension and describing a picture.
In maths, the loss was seen among 67% in class 2, 76% in class 3, 85% in class 4, 89% in class 5 and 89% in class 6 in identifying twodigit or three-digit numbers, addition, subtraction, drawing inferences from data, describing 2D/3D images. For instance, nearly half the students surveyed in class 3 could not solve problems using subtractions in daily-life situations. And, 55% of class 5 children could not even multiply two-digit numbers.
The study was done in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. The trends, the university said, are uniform across the country. The report warns that learning loss will accumulate and impact long-term prospects of children.
“Policy and processes to identify and address this loss are necessary as children return to schools. Supplemental support, whether in the form of bridge courses, extended hours, community-based engagements and appropriate curricular materials, will be needed to help children gain the foundational abilities when they return to school. And most importantly, the teachers must be given enough time to compensate for both kinds of learning loss – and we must not rush into promoting children to the next class,” said the report while stressing the importance of teachers to address the situation in classrooms.
Teachers sought school reopening and they were also worried about the social loss, said the report.


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Sagar Biswas

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