Home Based Learning Program by ThinkZone
As COVID-19 hit India – anganwadis, government schools and different community learning centres went into lockdown. We realized that children in under-resourced communities were not getting access to quality education due to the ongoing crisis. The penetration rate of smartphones in India is around 10-15% and in villages it is even less. Most of the education support interventions during this crisis at present are online/app-based and unfortunately are out of reach for the majority of the population who don’t have access to smartphones/computers and internet.
In the situation where children could not avail education only because of smartphones, we came up with multiple localized solutions. We planned, designed and implemented programs to make sure that children’s education does not discontinue during these challenging times.
Home-based Learning: We designed an accessible home-based learning program for children aged 3-10 years. We use ‘voice call & SMS-based’ learning platforms to reach out to parents so that they can engage with their children in activity-based learning content. The user-friendly modules can be understood and implemented by parents regardless of their literacy level. This program enables parents to work towards developing the skills of their children from an early age. Access to the contents is free of cost for the families. We provided a variety of home-based learning activities, focusing on foundational skills in Odia and Mathematics. The activities are very simple in nature. Also, it takes a maximum 10 minutes to practice an activity.
We use four different methods to share. This is to ensure that the learning activities and guidelines are accessible for families:
Automated Calls – pre-recorded descriptive audio versions of the text messages are sent to parents’ phones, ensuring that parents who are not able to read receive the messages. Based on the age level and class of the child the content is scheduled.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – Parents are provided with a toll-free number to go through the learning activities multiple times during the course of the day.
Text messages (SMS) – The same content would be shared via SMS to all parents in addition to sensitization messages to highlight their role in children’s learning and how our program supports that role
Live phone calls by volunteers - This is to supplement calls and SMS done by trained community educators. These calls will provide a walk-through of learning activities shared with them and provide support.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
To improve the learning outcomes of students in mother-tongue and mathematics during the pandemic when the regular academic session has been disrupted.
Parents show an increased interest in their child’s education
THE SOCIAL ISSUE
When education took shift to online mode, India witnessed a massive digital divide, one who have access to online education and one who do not have access to online education. This resulted in discontinuation of learning of the children who do not have access to children. Home based learning program addressed this issue by providing education using non-internet based technology.