How to actively involve parents in the era of hybrid learning

Posted by Mohini Rathi on Apr 16, 2021 3:49:24 PM
Mohini Rathi

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A parent is usually the child's first teacher but, over time, the scope of their involvement in their learning dims. However, with hybrid learning becoming the way forward for students, the parents’ role in their child’s education can no longer be taken for granted and schools must invest in ways to keep them in the loop.

Forty-two-year-old Sundar works 12-hour shifts six days a week as part of the maintenance staff in an apartment complex in Bengaluru. Ask him his biggest goal and pat comes the reply: “I want my children to speak English and get good jobs.” Every month, he pays Rs 2,000 from his monthly salary of Rs 15,000 in fees for his two children to attend a private school. Like millions of other parents in the country, he has big dreams for his children. “I want them to work in these big IT offices in the city,” he says.

Parents in India have high aspirations for their children and are willing to spend on high-quality education. According to the FSG report titled, Understanding the Affordable Private School (APS) Market, low-income households earn typically between Rs 9,000 and Rs 20,000 and make up a whopping 70 percent of urban India. For them, APSes—which provide education for a monthly fee ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 1,650—is the ideal choice. 

Building solutions for parents

Several studies conducted over decades and in different locations have consistently shown that parents’ involvement in their children’s education results in positive effects in their overall development. And parents like Sundar and his wife, who spend a disproportionate amount of their income on school fees, deserve to know what their kids are learning in their classes. 

Measuring outcomes in education have come a long way from the traditional report cards, which failed to capture a holistic picture of children’s learning indicators, but schools in the APS segment struggle to afford solutions that could bring deeper insights. And the divide deepens in India beyond metros and Tier I cities, effectively excluding the majority from accessing the tools and technologies that could provide a 360-degree view of a child’s development to her parents.

The solution, clearly, is not just about building the best technology but the best and most affordable solution that keeps aspirational parents in the loop. The need for such a solution has been further accelerated by the pandemic, which has forced schools of all segments to make provisions for online learning. As students learn remotely, it becomes imperative to collaborate with parents so that education does not take a hit even as in-person classes are halted. 

LEAD is transforming education in India by helping children become ready for the exam of life. To enrol your child in a LEAD powered school: Click here

Actionable insights for parents

At the heart of the LEAD School solution is the child but the guiding principle has also been to delight the parents with the offering as well. The LEAD School Student & Parent App equips parents with all the information about their children’s classes and lessons and empowers them with the means to support their kids.

With a dedicated parent section, the app provides a snapshot of their child’s performance in school as well as provides constant updates on their learning gaps, attendance, and class schedule. Such insights gives parents the confidence that their child’s learning is a priority for the teachers and the school as well as enables them to intervene and help their kid at home. 

Progress reports help them stay on top of their child’s daily performance in classes. When a student does not attend a class, parents are informed so that they are aware of the completed and pending classes. When LEAD School sends the student a multiple choice quiz (several are sent typically after every unit), the results are flashed to the parents as well. The dashboard of data helps parents get a holistic view of their child’s progress while the digital progress cards display the LEAD benchmark (average class performance) and results of unit-wise assessments and quizzes. LEAD’s partner schools also use the dedicated notice board to trigger notices to parents on broadcast or individually. 

A collaborative approach for hybrid learning

It is pertinent to note that apprising parents to this granular level is not a frivolous nice-to-have, especially given the massive overhaul conventional learning has gone through in the past year because of COVID-19 lockdowns. Earlier, school acted as daycare as well but with homebound children learning to cope with online classes, the involvement of parents is no longer an option. And it cannot be sporadic, like during the occasional parent-teacher meets. LEAD’s chat feature enables them to easily reach out to teachers with queries, especially about daily attendance and how it affects their child’s progress. But it is not just for parents; teachers too can reach out to parents with concerns about their student, thus creating a continuous two-way feedback loop between stakeholders. 

Indeed, it is this sort of collaboration between school stakeholders and parents in the era of hybrid learning that will help put the focus on the child and spur preemptive measures that facilitate the ideal learning environment at home. 

While innovation in education is a great step forward, it is as good as useless if it is tone-deaf; contextualisation is key to bringing the best solutions. We noticed a unified app for students and parents works for our target audience as many households in Tier III and IV have only one device. Additionally, we did not want to exclude any parents who are not comfortable with English. Hence, the LEAD School app is available in seven different regional languages

As LEAD works with its partner schools to create a level-playing field in education, it does not forget its commitment to parents like Sundar, who deserve a seat at the table in the era of hybrid learning and beyond. 

LEAD is transforming education in India by helping children become ready for the exam of life. To enrol your child in a LEAD powered school: Click here

About the Author
Mohini Rathi
Mohini Rathi

Mohini is a Product Manager at LEAD School. She is an IIT Bombay alumnus. Her love of solving problems drives her as a product manager. Her varied experience of products across industries allows her to have multiple outlooks on every problem. She is a strong believer of the butterfly effect, and hence keeps making small efforts for the big changes and is excited to be a part of LEAD School.

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