Learning mathematics the fun way

Math learning deteriorates due to Covid 19 pandemic: Cuemath report

September 8, 2021

Cuemath recently commissioned a study with market research firm AC Nielsen to highlight the learning challenges faced by students during the pandemic. The study was conducted to understand parent perceptions and concerns in their child’s learning, measuring their learning gap in learning. 1200 samples, split equally across cities and grades, were collected across 6 metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad, for grades from 1 to 12.

The nationwide report put forth the high learning loss amongst children across grades, especially in math. According to the survey, one in every four parents of students up to grade 5 believe learning loss to be severe in math in the past 18 months. 

  1. 5 out of 10 parents feel that learning loss leads to forgetting basic concepts and the inability to grasp fundamentals between Grade 1 and Grade 5.
  2. 4 out of 10 parents of these kids also feel that important foundational topics such as numbers and operations have become increasingly difficult to grasp for their children
  3. While 1/5 parents of higher grades feel geometry and mensuration have become difficult to comprehend during covid, indicating a weaker foundational understanding of math.

The study also highlights 44% of parents have reported fear of math as a prominent factor for learning loss. This is one of the reasons why 1 in every 3 parents of children from grade 1 to grade 3 feel additional pressure while teaching their kids. Furthermore, 6 out of 10 parents feel that enhanced classroom teaching methods such as interactive videos, game-based learning, and DIY activities by either schools or edtech platforms are lucrative solutions to address this learning loss. This finding is supported by the fact that online learning platforms are preferred over offline neighbourhood tuitions by a whopping 150%. 

87% of the parents surveyed in the study also feel that edtech will continue to stay relevant in a post-pandemic world, and that the future of education will be hybrid i.e. a physical classroom and an edtech platform.

Cuemath recognises the importance of reducing learning loss in math and building the next generation of problem-solvers; the startup has launched 1-year free access to its award-winning math curriculum. Cuemath’s learning program is designed to supplement the school syllabus with a smart curriculum that will be critical for conceptual understanding and help lessen the effect of learning loss in Math for K-12.

Key highlights from the report

Struggle to understand math during COVID-19

Parents felt that their children were unable to grasp mathematical concepts compared to other subjects in the past 18 months. Parents also feel that these issues sprout at an early age amongst students. These parents believe early intervention is needed to focus on the subject, preferably from Grade 1 (28%) or Grade 3 (26%) onwards. However, parents of older students (Grade 6-12) feel that they must start building focus later, i.e., Grade 5 onwards.

40% of the parents feel that children struggle with concepts such as numbers and operations, which are introduced in early grades. This, they feel, makes learning math in later grades tougher, resulting in math anxiety. Math anxiety and confusion are cited as significant concerns of learning loss for parents in cities such as Mumbai (40%), Bangalore (37%), Kolkata (35%), and Chennai (43%).

Learning Loss Intensified

46% of parents are worried about their children forgetting the concepts once the topic is over in class, while 43% are concerned about the impact of this learning loss on future clarity on concepts. Reduced marks in math are a significant concern for parents of students below grade 6 (40%) and those in grades 11 and 12 (39%).

Parents of middle and higher-grade students (6–12) worry that inefficient learning of math may lead to reduced marks in that subject. Moreover, peer pressure is identified as a prime concern for 40% of parents of students in 11th-12th. 47% of parents in Hyderabad and Bangalore agreed that learning loss impacts the clarity of concepts among students in the future. Inability to solve an indirect question is seen as the key impact of learning loss among students for 44% of parents in Kolkata. They feel this will impact their child’s learning ability in the future when they are introduced to more complex topics.

Positive Disposition Towards EdTech Platforms

87% of the parents feel that EdTech platforms will be as important to their children today, even after schools reopen in post-COVID times. This reflects in their positive feedback for EdTech platforms/online methods of teaching. 57% of parents at an overall level see enhanced classroom teaching as a solution for addressing learning loss. Cities such as Bengaluru (63%) and Chennai (60%) emphasize enhanced classroom experience. Delhi and Hyderabad, on the other hand, with over 50% opt for need-based doubt clearing sessions.

Six out of 10 parents see enhanced classroom teaching like interactive videos, game-based learning, and DIY activities by either schools or EdTech platforms as a solution for addressing learning loss. However, parents of senior students (Grades 11 & 12) still bestow higher confidence (42%) to offline tuitions and video recording of sessions.

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