Concerned about their child’s education, most families have adapted to virtual learning and have subscribed to education apps to support learning during the pandemic
The Coronavirus has delayed the academic calendar by months and replaced school spaces by virtual classrooms. As states gear up to reopen schools amidst the pandemic, YouGov’s latest survey reveals half of the parents (49%) are either not very or not at all comfortable with sending their children back to school.
A quarter are ‘somewhat comfortable’ while another quarter, (26%) are extremely or very comfortable with the return.
Parents in East India are especially concerned about their child’s return and more than two-thirds (68%) stated their hesitation in sending them back to school (not very + not at all comfortable).
At present, seven in ten (72%) parents confirmed their child’s reliance on online classes conducted by schools or colleges in order to educate themselves during the lockdown. Among these, some are dependent solely on these classes (44%), while others are taking them along with home schooling (28%). The rest of the children are being home schooled without any online classes (17%) or not engaging in any form of learning due to lack of resources (11%).
It seems like the majority are confident about virtual learning, with 24% parents admitting to their child adapting very well to this form of education with no difficulties and 52% claiming their child has adjusted to it now after some initial difficulties. Furthermore, close to half (48%) are confident (extremely or very) about their child’s ability to independently learn from an online platform.
Although the use of learning apps is not new to many families, the lockdown has triggered the use of these platforms. More than half of the parents (55%) claimed their child has now subscribed to some online education app during the lockdown, although before the pandemic only 40% were subscribed to these apps, highlighting the increase in subscriptions during the period of the lockdown.
Among the digital platforms used before or during Covid-19 for the purpose of education, Byju’s stands as a prominent name, with 65% parents claiming to be using this app for their child’s education. The platform is more popular among tier I students (75%) as compared to the ones in tier II (64%) or tier III (57%) cities.
Unacademy (30%), Vedantu (29%), Udemy (25%) are some of the other apps being currently used to support learning.
Although online learning has gained momentum during the lockdown, the shift to the online medium has raised many concerns among the parents. Around half (48%) are worried about their child developing some health issues related to the increased screen time. Slightly lesser have concerns about technical issues (low internet speed, etc.) and reduced or lesser face time with teachers (43%).
Many (42%) are anxious about their children’s mental wellness getting affected due to the absence of classmates or friends. More than a third have other concerns such as lack of discipline due to absence of a teacher, lesser or no co-curricular activities or having a hard time in keeping the kids motivated to attend online classes (35% each).
When it comes to the future of their child’s education, parents are concerned and a majority (61%) agree that the Covid-19 pandemic will end up hampering their overall education to a ‘very great’ or ‘great extent’.
Talking about the e-learning space, Deepa Bhatia, General Manager, YouGov India, said, “The current situation has increased the popularity of e-learning platforms and has opened up a great opportunity for those in online education business. In the days to come, e-learning will assume greater relevance and hence it is imperative to review the changing needs of students as well as their parents, and address their concerns in the most effective way.”
Data collected online by YouGov Omnibus among 1015 parents in the country between 16th and 22nd June 2020 using YouGov’s panel of over 6 million people worldwide. Data is representative of the adult online population in the country.