Akanksha Education Fund

Overcoming Learning Loss

During COVID-19, students around the world struggled to maintain adequate access, feedback, and information to continue their education. Learning loss affected both students and their families, and many struggled to find their way back to the educational content, routine, and community to which they were accustomed.  

About 1.6 billion children worldwide, including 250 million in India, endured school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. (UNICEF) Recent estimates suggest that in the firs 23 months of the pandemic, students globally may have lost about eight months of learning, on average. Some regions like South Asia saw the longest school closures and greater learning loss — missing around 75 weeks of schooling and students thought to be behind more than a year. In India, specifically, the learning delay is estimated to be one of the highest, at 12 to 14 months. (McKinsey & Company, 2022)

Our schools were shut for most of the year and our children and their families faced some major financial and socio-emotional challenges. However, our team supported them through thick and thin, prioritizing their well-being. As schools reopened, 99% of our students returned to classrooms.

Stronger Together and Building Better!

Tough challenges lie ahead of us as we continue to bridge the learning gaps, and we are proud of the progress we are making! 

• Our year-end Stronger Together Campaign raised nearly $500,000 towards resources to facilitate and improve hybrid learning.

• Nearly 80% of our students improved their reading and comprehension levels within a year by making the most of digital tools. Comparatively, 90% of students nationally lost at least one linguistic ability due to prolonged school closures.

The Stronger Together campaign and these improvements at Akanksha schools makes us feel  confident about taking the blended-learning approach, which is a key innovation in our pedagogy post pandemic. 

What is Akanksha’s Package of Best Practices for Addressing Learning Loss?

  1. Mental Health, Arts and Sports Therapy: Akanksha believes in integrating creative activities like dance, sports, music, and visual arts with core academics as a strategy to increase self-awareness and self-worth and decrease stress and anxiety relating to the pandemic and its related stressors.
  2. One-on-one extended learning:  Research has shown that one-on-one help is one of the most effective strategies to help students overcome learning loss. Akanksha is employing an all-hands on deck approach, ensuring that tutoring can come in the form of trained specialists and educators, current and former teachers, teachers aides, volunteers and other paraprofessionals. All Akanksha staff have made a commitment to tutoring students once a week.
  3. Personalized digital learning: Akanksha is employing a thoughtful blended learning approach that includes a combination of online and offline learning sessions to provide extended learning. Award-winning global learning apps are leveraged to help students improve their math and reading skills.
  4. Personalized learning plans for parents and children. Akanksha offers a deep level of  education to help families support student learning. This  is critical as many parents may not know how to identify or address learning loss in their children. We work with parents to develop strategies and goals that work for each individual child and family.
  5. Peer-to-peer empowerment: Akanksha believes that student empowerment is the key to addressing learning loss and that young people, themselves, must be drivers of change. We have developed programs where older students help younger students in math and english, and student alumni are returning to volunteer with older children.