Since 2005, Procter & Gamble India (P&G India) has been on a mission to create access to holistic education for underprivileged children in the country through P&G Shiksha — the company’s flagship corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, impacting over 35 lakh children. Last week, P&G India launched a nationwide movement to bring to light a hidden issue: often, school students can fall behind in keeping pace with their classes.
One concept, one subject, one class, can give way to a larger issue where children develop gaps in fundamental conceptual understanding. When children fall behind and their current learning level isn’t in line with the expected learning level (as defined per the curriculum), it leads to an invisible learning gap.
According to the 2021 National Achievement Survey, over 60 million primary school students were found to have learning levels lower than appropriate for their grades. This gap significantly impacts children who perpetually keep trying to cope. And without the right support system, they drop out of school or have a degree which does not help them achieve their aspirations.
In a first-of-its-kind thought-provoking film, P&G Shiksha aims to make this #InvisibleGap visible, by creating awareness and urging meaningful action to bridge the invisible gap.
Speaking about the new film, Girish Kalyanaraman, Vice President — Marketing Operations, P&G India said, “P&G Shiksha has continued to work tirelessly to provide access to education to millions of underprivileged children since its inception 18 years ago. Taking this journey forward with the new campaign, we are attempting to spark conversations around the pertinent learning crisis impacting [millions] of children in our country. This #InvisibleGap arises when children fall behind and the current learning level is not in line with the expected learning level.
To bridge this gap, P&G has been working with its partners through various programs — from leveraging advanced machine-learning based tools to community-level learning camps. With the campaign, we aim to make the #InvisibleGap visible by driving nationwide awareness about this issue, which is often misunderstood as the child being mischievous or disinterested in learning. I hope this film will inspire the audience in identifying this gap in children around them and taking necessary corrective measures to bridge it.”
Conceptualized and created by global advertising agency Leo Burnett, the film is a compelling story of Bindiya, a girl who is impacted by the invisible gap and struggles to cope in the classroom.
It’s a simple human insight, when we don’t know something and we don’t want people to ask about it, we hide. And from that insight we narrate the story of Bindiya — a primary school student who is trying hard to make herself invisible so that she doesn’t have to answer questions in class. We realized that despite having access to education, there are still ‘invisible gaps’ — which means there are students who are learning at a level lower than their class. This puts them in a negative cycle of knowledge and often leads to students dropping out of school completely. This year, we want to address this gap and help students bridge it to ensure they can complete their education. It’s a true HumanKind idea.
Support and interventions, like that being driven by P&G Shiksha, can play a pivotal role in bridging these learning gaps. The campaign was launched with a thought-provoking panel discussion in Mumbai, with leaders from diverse walks of life, including Girish Kalyanaraman, Vice President – Brand Operations, P&G India; Ritesh Agarwal, Assistant Vice President, Educational Initiatives; and Sagar Singh, Faculty Mathematics, Gov. High School Banah Ki Ser, Sirmour (HP). The panel was moderated by Priyanka Khanna, Author and Former Journalist.
In partnership with educational initiatives, P&G Shiksha leverages AI-backed technology with 'Mindspark', a computer-based adaptive learning tool. Through the Pratham Education Foundation, the program implements on-the-ground remedial learning interventions that use both community-based and in-school models supported by trained volunteers and teachers. The program also focuses on early childhood education, including developing motor, cognitive, social-emotional, language and creative skills in children for a strong foundation as they begin school.
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