Young children learning foundational skills in a classroom

The 2011 Census states that anyone over the age of 11 who can read and write is ‘literate’. Literacy has been marked as a strong factor in employment, with a study by Bynner, J. and Parsons, S. in 2001, citing, ‘both literacy and numeracy skills have been shown to be crucial in gaining employment and retaining it (…)’. Literacy is the backbone of developing nations like India, and foundational literacy is its base.

Research attributes 80% of brain development to the early childhood period. This fertile period is also when the precursors to language learning are developed. These foundations later become predictors of a child’s reading ability in later grades. Unfortunately, many children (in India and worldwide) are consistently unable to read at their grade level. That is a problem because these children then fall further and further behind with every grade i.e. it becomes tremendously difficult for them to catch up. Not being able to read has grave implications ranging from not getting into college to unemployment.

Watch Square Panda India MD, Mr. Ashish Jhalani, talk about the importance of reading.

Why Square Panda Focuses On Developing Foundational Literacy Skills:

The reading skill is crucial to perform well in academics, as well as in regular life. An early reading ability not only influences a future reading habit but also paves the way for future success and quality of life.

The current educational policy has refrained from highlighting any particular mode of instruction as the ‘primary’ mode, choosing instead to leave the decision up to the respective administrations. What is a game-changer for the Indian education system is the addition of ECCE into the new policy. Where once early childhood education was not looked upon as formal education, it is now being given a rightful place in the educational landscape of India. Early education is also at the core of Square Panda’s multisensory platform, with a focus on early literacy.

Square Panda’s mission is to empower all children to reach their full potential by launching their educational journey with the power of literacy and languages and we support that journey through our unique, personalised learning system.

Square Panda wants to drive development and education in India to be on par with our global counterparts, using a platform that enables foundational English language learning, from the grassroots level itself, starting as deep inside the educational system as Anganwadis and Balwadis. With a strong educational team to back the constantly evolving programs developed by Square Panda, we are turning the focus towards training Anganwadi workers to handle early education, work with our systems, and skill themselves, to enable a better learning environment for children at the very heart of India.

Two young learners playing with the Square Panda phonics platform.
The Square Panda multisensory early literacy system is especially designed for young children between the ages of 2 and 8.

The disparity of educational resources across India sees an imbalance in the distribution of basic amenities like teachers, educational materials, and even study books. The gap further widens, due to factors like high pupil to teacher ratios, a lack of appropriate curriculum, infrastructure shortages, poor quality of teaching staff, and declining monetary resources. While there is a facility for free education, especially in the younger years, enforcing this is difficult. Educational technology reaches the places these resources cannot, making edtech companies like ours the perfect collaborators to the government, to enhance foundational literacy across the educational landscape in India. 

“In a country like India, where we find children of different learning levels and capabilities, edtech is a valuable resource to cater to different needs, allowing for a greater personalising and adaptiveness,” opines Mr. Jhalani.

Square Panda’s self-guided adaptive platform allows for an enhanced and holistic early learning experience; the teachers and educators can operate our system with a minimal amount of technical knowledge.

As a future global superpower, we want to see India succeed in its goal to achieve 100% literacy. Square Panda provides an all-round solution to the early literacy problems plaguing the Indian education sector at present, with a blended offering combining digital tools and multisensory physical learning materials.

“The goals Square Panda has is to make education and literacy affordable and reachable to the masses across the world, may it be in China, may it be in India. We want to make sure that every child gets an opportunity to be literate, learn the language of English—which is a primary language across the world—and find better jobs as they grow up.” – Mr. Ashish Jhalani.

Square Panda believes in the need for a robust early education system, along with efficient teacher training programs to enhance quality of education across India, and the globe.

Written by Square Panda India
Empowering children with the power of literacy and languages, Square Panda India provides an adaptive, multisensory, phonics learning platform to early learners everywhere.