The spread of COVID-19 followed by the frequent lockdowns interrupted the education of millions of students around the world, including in India. During the lockdown, online classes for kids seemed like the only reasonable alternative left by the School Authorities. But were online classes really needed for nursery kids?
For a country like India, where education is already looked at as a luxury rather than a need, convincing parents of online education, especially for nursery-level kids, seemed like a bit of a daunting task.
Importance of Nursery Education in India
The early years of a child’s life are the most crucial years for early brain development, which has lifelong effects. Cognitive developmental studies have also shown that a child’s mind is surprisingly active from a very young age. The skills they learn in their early years help them develop their ‘Theory of Mind’ later in life. Various researches and theories indicate the importance of Nursery education in building a solid foundation for kids.
Nursery education provides children with a formal and disciplined learning environment that nurtures young minds and helps them realize their true potential. Simple life skills and an interesting curriculum are taught to children through enjoyable activities, which promote creative thinking among children and facilitate their holistic development.
According to IMRB Surveys, 29% of students drop out of school before completing their elementary education. Research shows that proper early childhood education reduces the chances of students leaving their studies and greatly improves the outcome of education at all levels.
According to the National Sample Survey Organization, the current adult population of India consists of 73.2% illiterate adults. In a country like India, where the illiteracy rate of parents is so high, we cannot expect parents to self-teach their children or understand how nursery education prepares children physically, emotionally, socially, and mentally for advanced level education. Also, considering the fast-paced life, working parents do not have the required time to teach their children themselves. This article will elaborate on the benefits of nursery learning, especially in an online setting for periods like COVID-19.
Benefits of Nursery Online Classes for Kids:
Online classes make education more convenient for nursery students. Kids can study in a comfortable learning environment which would help them focus on learning rather than being susceptible to distractions. Learning online saves travel costs, travel time, and helps kids to practice easily and improve their weaknesses.
2. Student paced learning
All children differ in the way they learn. Physical schools expect children to learn at the same pace as their peers, which leads to peer pressure, bullying, and compromised performance from some students. Online classes allow students to follow an individualized approach by acknowledging every individual’s learning and growth rate. Online classes for kids provide room for flexibility by allowing kids to focus on their classes and individual learning activities and take as much time as they require to understand and practice the concepts to ensure better learning.
3. Equal attention to all students
In a country like India, where the student-to-teacher ratio is extremely high, paying equal attention to all students seems like an impossible task for teachers. Online classes help teachers provide individualized attention to students, which improves students’ focus and attention span and helps teachers identify the learner’s talents and weaknesses. Teachers can use various applications to keep a low student-teacher ratio by dividing their classes into groups and paying better attention to students. This would ensure that no child feels neglected and enhance the overall learning experience.
4. Health and Nutrition
Effective learning requires students to be healthy and fit. Online classes completely remove the risk of studying in an unhygienic environment, which can cause disrupted learning. In times like these, when COVID-19 was fast spreading across the globe, online classes during lockdown provided the health benefit of reducing human contact by staying at home while continuing with the learning process to ensure uninterrupted quality education.
5. Better tracking of child’s progress
App-based education helps parents take an equal part in their child’s growth by staying up to date with the curriculum being followed at school. The combined efforts of the teachers and parents help kids learn at a faster pace. Nursery online classes help parents build a strong parent-child relationship and facilitate parents in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of their child by monitoring their child’s progress frequently. If the concepts taught in online classes are used at home, kids can learn through real-life examples and implement their concepts to ensure faster learning.
6. Becoming tech-friendly
Physical classrooms are predominantly restricted to the old-fashioned way of teaching. With the world becoming digital day by day, it is imperative for kids to become tech-friendly. Online classes facilitate doing so by allowing students to use multiple applications, learn computer skills, and access material. Introducing kids to technology from an early age would prepare them for the digital future.
7. Best access to teachers
Teachers worldwide have been using numerous online teaching platforms and programs to facilitate the learning process. Platforms like Zoom, Google Classroom, and Microsoft Teams have made online education efficient. From digital learning games to online testing platforms, e-learning has seen an increase in numerous platforms that all facilitate the online teaching and learning process. These tools also allow two-way communication, which helps teachers and students engage with each other leading to a better understanding of concepts.
While online learning for kids has been proved to be extremely helpful, it also results in an increase in screen time, a decrease in social interaction, and compromise on learning. Considering the pros and cons of online learning for Nursery kids, it seems like e-learning is the need of the hour. It has proved extremely helpful during the unprecedented times of COVID-19 when physical interaction had to be limited and in-person classes weren’t allowed by the government. Continuing the tradition of online classes for kids would make the education sector efficient and affordable, increasing access to education in India and worldwide.