Math Learning Deteriorates Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cuemath Report


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Cuemath, a live-class platform for math and coding skills, has recently commissioned a study with market research firm AC Nielsen to highlight the learning challenges faced by students during the pandemic.

The nationwide report put forth the high learning loss amongst children across grades, especially in math. According to the survey, 1 in every 4 parents of students up to Grade 5 believes learning loss to be severe in math in the past 18 months.

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. So what does learning loss mean to parents?

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 neighborhood tuitions by a whopping 150%.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Manan Khurma, Founder & CEO, Cuemath, said,

“At Cuemath, we have a vision of creating #1BillionMathMinds aimed to democratize Math learning for every child across the world whose learning has been affected due to Covid-19. Math has predominantly been directed rather than self-taught. With schools shut due to COVID, student progress has fallen sharply during the pandemic. This cumulative loss of learning in children will invariably have a critical impact on their future. Parents’ concerns are valid in such scenarios, and their increased confidence in EdTech platforms for learning Math is very encouraging. School syllabus will need to be supplemented by smart teaching methods offered by EdTech platforms going forward.”

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 recognizes 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 teachings 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.

Cuemath is India’s #1 online math learning and coding platform for children from K-12. Matching its adaptive learning tech platform with the best-in-class course curriculum specially designed by experts from Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, and IIT, the startup imparts math learning to children via visual learning methods, honing their intuitive skills and developing an aptitude for math in the process. Launched in 2013, Cuemath has successfully touched the lives of over 200k students across 20+ countries, building a solid foundation in math and logic for the children and transforming them into independent thinkers and invincible problem solvers of tomorrow.

About the Author

Author: Stephen Soulunii

Stephen Soulunii No more a student, but love to learn. Not a teacher, but care about how students are taught. Not an educator, but want everyone to be educated. Not a social worker, but desire to see change. Not a reformer, but always want to see a better world. The author believes that only sound education can bring a better future, better world and technology can help achieve a lot in this field.

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