Research has demonstrated how literacy and numeracy are intrinsically tied to future learning and success. Closer to home, the India Early Childhood Education Impact (IECEI) study conducted by the ASER Centre and the Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED) clearly showed that exposing children to high-quality early education, i.e., basic reading, math, and developmental skills, improves their learning ability in early primary classes.
Unfortunately, acquisition of foundational skills is inadequate across India, to the extent of being a learning crisis, reports the National Education Policy 2020. The ASER 2019 report paints a grim picture.
- Only 34.8% of std. 2 and 50.8% of std. 3 students could read std. 1 level text
- 51.4% of std. 2 and 66% of std. 3 students could do single digit oral subtraction problems, placing them substantially behind the education curve
A strong education has far-reaching effects on society, including ensuring economic prosperity, and societal well-being. Research studies over the years concur with this, with research conducted by John Bynner and Sam Parsons highlighting the importance of literacy and numeracy skills for gaining and retaining employment.
How Square Panda India Impacts Foundational Learning In India: Case Study Findings
As Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) experts and innovators, we have been working with multiple state governments and impact organisations to show the efficacy of our foundational learning and educator empowerment programs under Aarambh.
Our studies demonstrate encouraging trends to support the efficacy and use of Square Panda India’s teaching-learning programs with a large number of educators, Anganwadi workers, and children.
Study 1: CHHATTISGARH SCHOOLS
- We started our intervention in 7 schools from grades 1-5, with students who do not have access to education outside their classrooms and had never gone to Anganwadis.
- Before our intervention, reading and comprehension were the weakest skills, with a majority of the students not having even the slightest exposure to the English language.
- We trained teachers to effectively use our program in the classroom, providing constant support as we introduced our early reading app to the children.
- At the end of five weeks with our SquareTales app, word reading skills had improved by over 300%, and sentence reading skills had improved by over 125%. Notably, children could use their learnings to read newer words and sentences.
“The intervention by our foundational program worked so well that a child with no prior knowledge of English could read the first five SquareTales books when he was taught only till book 2.” – Ashish Jhalani, MD, Square Panda India
Study 2: AKANKSHA FOUNDATION
- We conducted trials with SKG and Grade 1 students across Mumbai and Pune with this non-profit organisation across four months.
- By the end of the study, there was an overall improvement of 32% in SKG and 128% in Grade 1.
- There was considerable improvement in literacy outcomes & different skills like Alphabet Knowledge, Letter Sound Knowledge, Word Decoding, Spelling, and Sentence Reading.
- We saw that the students had become much more confident and interested in learning.
- They could independently use tablets, leading to digital literacy in students.
Study 3: MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF GREATER MUMBAI (MCGM)
- This six-week program with grade 2 students showed significant progress in early literacy skills among the control group, without any external intervention.
- After using our program 4-5 times a week, for 15 minutes a day, we observed an improvement of 75% in reading skills.
Study 4: SITAPUR AND CHITRAKOOT DISTRICTS IN UTTAR PRADESH
- These progressive districts signed up with Square Panda India to conduct a comprehensive Empowerment & Enrichment Program for ECCE Educators for primary grade teachers in government schools.
- After our 60-hour training program, post-program assessment showed a 47.83% increase in understanding of teaching methodology, a 44.38% improvement in classroom management skills, and a 43% increase in knowledge of ECCE and its varied facets.
Study 5: UPSKILLING PROGRAM WITH A SOUTHERN STATE (ONGOING)
- To adequately equip these crucial frontline workers, Square Panda India is partnering with a southern state to deliver an intensive program for Anganwadi workers.
- This program will be conducted physically, covering six extensive core modules, and will include practical hands-on activities like role-playing and group discussions for additional comprehension.
Armed with continuous research in pedagogy as well as our product, Square Panda India is confident in its ability to adopt best practices from global markets, while streamlining our programs under Aarambh to cater to the early education system in India in alignment with the NEP 2020 goals. For us, this is an extension of our commitment to overcome the challenge of preparing our teachers for early childhood education and our children for the future.
Learn more at ecce.squarepanda.in