Children exposed to interactive modes of learning at the early childhood education level are twice as school-ready as children who follow conventional, blackboard learning, a study by the Sesame Workshop India Trust has revealed.
The trust took into account Project Metro, a five-year programme that used Galli Galli Sim Sim (GGSS) tools, including mobile community viewing, tools and curriculum in classrooms and teachers’ training to bring about a change in the way children learn at an early age.
The classroom tools included interactive modules in recognising shapes, the Hindi alphabet and shapes and personal hygiene using songs and visual aids.
According to the study, children exposed to GGSS materials were twice as ready for formal schooling as compared to those who did not have access to these materials. Three-year-old students who had access to these materials were able to recognize twice as many letters of the Hindi alphabet as compared to the control group.
Four-year-old students were also twice as likely to wash their hands before eating after going through the programme. The programme also gave students the capability to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy food effectively.
“Before we started using these tools there was rampant absenteeism, low enthusiasm and low outcome in primary and pre-primary sections but interactive tools have helped us a lot. Children relate to the Muppets much better and accept advice easily as well. We have had instances where parents have come to us and told us that their children gave them lessons in hygiene after going through the programme,” said Aruna Jayant, a primary school teacher at the municipality-aided St. Michael’s School, Jungpura.
School readiness has become more and more important in today’s scenario as education experts have realised that enrollment figures are not as important as retention figures. Experts propagate early childhood education for students below the age of six years.