5 Strategies Schools Can Take to Mitigate the Learning Gaps

5 immediate strategies for addressing learning gaps that will minimise disruption in students’ educational journey

Home - Education - 5 immediate strategies for addressing learning gaps that will minimise disruption in students’ educational journey
back to school

The education system has long grappled with the challenge of learning gaps, where students fall behind expected learning levels. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly exacerbated this issue. According to the 2019 ASER Report, even before the pandemic, only 50% of class 5 students could read a class 2 textbook, and a mere 30% could solve division problems at a class 3 level.

These pre-existing gaps were further amplified during the 18 months of school closures when traditional classroom instruction became impossible. In an effort to maintain learning continuity, schools implemented various innovative approaches – YouTube classes, WhatsApp groups, live online sessions, and even virtual courses and exams. However, these initiatives yielded mixed results.

The Problem of Unequal Access and Learning Gaps

While innovation played a role, a lack of equitable access to digital devices and limitations of online platforms as universally inclusive tools created a new disparity. This emerged as a significant factor hindering the effectiveness of remote learning. Research by Azim Premji University highlights this point, revealing that around 90% of students lost at least one key linguistic ability during school closures, and 80% fell behind in their mathematical development.

Learning Gaps in Action: Real-World Examples

Coming back to the current situation, imagine a classroom of 20 students and five might struggle with basic reading comprehension, often getting tripped up by unfamiliar vocabulary or complex sentence structures. Their classmates might breeze through assigned passages, leaving these students feeling lost and discouraged. This is a learning gap within a single classroom.

On a larger scale, consider a rural school with limited internet connectivity and outdated technology in 2024. Textbooks might be their primary resource, and students might lack exposure to interactive learning tools readily available in well-equipped urban schools. This disparity creates a learning gap between schools, widening the achievement divide.

The Current Landscape (2024): A Patchwork of Solutions

Schools have largely reopened, but the pandemic’s impact continues to be felt. The landscape is a patchwork of approaches. Some schools have adopted a robust hybrid learning model, blending in-person instruction with well-developed online components that cater to various learning styles. Others struggle with limited resources and technological infrastructure, relying more heavily on traditional methods. This inconsistency creates a new challenge: ensuring a level playing field for all students, regardless of their school’s resources.

The Growing Focus on Personalized Learning

There’s a growing emphasis on personalised learning tools in the 21st century. These tools use data and analytics to identify individual student strengths and weaknesses. Adaptive learning platforms can adjust the difficulty and pace of instruction based on a student’s progress, allowing them to focus on areas where they need the most help. Additionally, there’s a renewed interest in project-based learning and other engaging pedagogies that cater to diverse learning styles and can help bridge these gaps.

The Ripple Effect of Learning Gaps

These learning gaps are not static. A student struggling with fractions might also have difficulty grasping later concepts like algebra that rely on a strong foundation in foundational math skills. Similarly, a student who can’t comprehend basic reading materials will struggle to access information across all subjects, hindering their overall academic progress. This can lead to a domino effect, with gaps in one area creating challenges in others.

These learning gaps, if left unaddressed, have a profound impact on a child’s future. They can hinder their ability to learn new concepts, limit their academic performance, and ultimately affect their earning potential and future career opportunities. Therefore, it’s crucial to find effective strategies to bridge these gaps and ensure all students, regardless of background or school resources, have the opportunity to succeed.

5 strategies schools can take to mitigate the learning gaps

In certain situations, students might discover they are missing crucial fundamental knowledge. These deficiencies could impact their learning and achievements down the line. Here, we explore five strategies schools can implement to identify these gaps in knowledge, provide customised support, and ensure each student reaches their potential.

1. Bringing kids back to school

A house is synonymous with its residents and the same goes for school and its students. All over India, lakhs of students have moved out of the education system. The first and foremost step should be to plan out strategies to bring kids back to school. Schools can take initiatives like admission campaigns, promotions, fee discounts, bridge courses etc. to attract children back to the school.

2. Diagnostic assessments

It is crucial to know the learning level of students before looking at bridging the learning gap. Teachers can organise a basic diagnostic assessment before they start a new session. This will help the teachers  know the current level of the students. They can then work on focus areas as per the students’ requirements along with the regular curriculum.

3. Bridge course

A bridge course is used to reduce the learning gap among the students by working on students’ foundational skills. According to the diagnostic assessments, schools can take the initiative in identifying students who need extra attention and arrange for remedial classes. It is advisable to modify the existing curriculum in a way that aligns with the bridge course.

CTA

4. Teacher training

It is recommended to train the teachers before  implementation of the bridge courses. Bridge course is a well-established concept in the education system after the implementation of RTE and other campaigns such as “Sarv Sikhsa Abhiyan” it was imperative to have the proper training for teachers to implement it.

Training the teachers can help them in managing their classrooms better. They can learn techniques and methods to teach slow learners along with other students. They can also share their classroom experiences with other teachers and learn from them.

Also Read: India’s Lost Generation and possible fourth wave

5. Community hubs

Tackling the learning gap only through school education will take a long time to overcome. Schools can support teachers by creating community hubs with the help of parents and community members. It is necessary to revise whatever students have studied in the school and community hubs can help the teachers to do so.

Every community can appoint somebody from the young or older generation who has some kind of literacy to supervise the kids with their homework and questions. Teachers can also visit these hubs and offer their support. Certainly, members of the community and schools have to work together to make community hubs successful.

These steps will help the schools to bridge the learning gap among the students. However, efficient implementation and consistent evaluation is required for any strategy to be successful. Schools have to ensure the implementation of these strategies is effective among all stakeholders and create a way to monitor its efficiency. 

Share:

Leave A Comment

Latest Blogs

Most Viewed Blogs