Published: 05th June 2020
Join the club: Wizklub helps kids develop integral cognitive skills early on, so their futures are brighter
This Bengaluru-based start-up was initiated by serial entrepreneur Amit Bansal for kids who are between the ages of five to 15. Kids have fun while doing their activities and learning is a byproduct
Rote-learning, memorisation, recall and repeating the information — it wouldn't be wrong to say that these are the four pillars of the Indian education system. It suited an era where people were required to perform repetitive tasks, but looking forward, the repetitive tasks are surely going to be automated. So our education system and our brains need to be reprogrammed from a young age to do the tasks of tomorrow which would require one to solve problems, think critically and more. While this trajectory is common knowledge, Amit Bansal knew that he needed to try and fix the problem at the root. He was even more convinced about this after initiating two EdTech start-ups, one of which required him to train over 50,000 students in Tier II and Tier III institutions and make them industry-ready. "The realisation dawned that at the stage when they are in college, it is very difficult to shape the aptitude of children. If they are not good at, say, logical thinking, then it is very difficult for them to be a good programmer. So unless we want an unemployable workforce 10 years from now, we had to fix this," explained Amit. This was the idea behind Wizklub, to help children between five to 15 years of age through their formative years.
Making learning fun
"That aptitude of any individual firms up by the age of 13 or 14," explains the edupreneur, so they had to strike before that. Wizklub and Co, started in February 2018, decided to focus on 36 skills, broadly divided into comprehension, critical thinking, logical reasoning, creativity and problem-solving. These are the base skills tested even in pivotal examinations like GMAT. Each of the skills is broken into eight subskills. For example, critical thinking would involve the ability to compare and contrast, distinguishing between facts and opinion and so on. For each of these subskills, an intervention was developed in the form of multiple-choice, match the following and other objective formats of questions. When students attempt them, they learn without it even seeming like learning. This is what they call HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills).
Amit Bansal | (Pic: Wizklub)
Because of the lockdown, their centres in Bengaluru are closed and now that they have taken their operations online, there is one supervisor for every 20 kids who are going through these fun activities remotely. The supervisors are important because, "Only when you make mistakes do you learn, otherwise you are just reaffirming what you know. When a child makes a mistake, it is important to close the learning loop and make them understand what the mistake was otherwise the learning is not complete," he explains. So along with their AI-powered tech platform, supervisors help students with this. They also help with ensuring that students remain engaged throughout the 45-minute activity. "We have always been very bullish about going online though the parents are apprehensive. Now the lockdown has left them no choice. Their behaviour, that would have taken five to ten years to change, has now changed within days because of the lockdown," he says. These skills taught under HOTS form the perfect foundation for a child to build upon.
Being tech-savvy from the start
The team at WizKlub understands that technology is going to be an integral part of future jobs. To help students look at technology and think, 'How can I use it to solve a problem? What can I make it do?' the WizKlub SmartTech Program was started. Through this programme, the start-up lays the foundation of coding, robotics, AI and more. This creates more of a gaming environment, for example, they can learn coding through a block-based visual programming environment which requires them to drag and drop blocks to learn to code.
The team | (Pic: Wizklub)
Looks like the start-up that raised a seed round of funding of seven crore, led by Incubate Fund India with Insitor Impact Asia Fund, is on the right track. Over one million cognitive development instances used by children were recorded. They have proven results that the kids who undergo their programme have a better IQ establishing how important it is to treat their formative years with utmost importance. "If the fundamentals of students aren't strong, whatever they learn they will learn the wrong way," says Amit. And opting for Wizklub is one way you can prevent that from happening.
For more on them, check out wizklub.com