In conversation with Umesh Kr Bansal, Senior Vice President, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. about how Olympiads are a fun way to test yourself.
What is the thought behind Mind Wars?
We started with Mind Wars last year with the aim of making a multi-level platform programme. The main idea was to create an on-ground presence and today we are present across 30,000 schools in India. This makes us the largest school outreach programme in the world. We also have a digital presence in Zee5 apps where children can login to Mind Wars and play. We also engage with students and teachers from various schools on our social media handles and have used the presence of Zee by putting a television quiz to cater to all the audiences across the country. From the inception of Mind Wars, the digital presence that we have planned is different than what is trending now. We are not an educational platform, but are interested in supplementing the educational learning for children. We want to provide them a way to test their knowledge and practice through play and fun.
How do you think Covid19 has impacted school children?
There has been a major impact in school children’s lives because of Covid19 pandemic. The schools have been closed since March and we still do not have a clarity when they are going to resume. Even states who are looking at reopening schools are talking of only allowing the senior classes to enter the campus. This has considerably reduced the human interaction that the children used to get. Human interaction, as we all know, is very important for subconscious learning and development in children. Recent surveys are even predicting loss of future income on account of reduced learning. However, I believe nothing can replace learning by teachers and the earlier we get to the normal scenario, the better it is for everyone.
How Olympiads enhance holistic development in a child?
Olympiads create a testing platform for all kids. It also has specifications for each standard, like a sixth and eighth grade Olympiad will not be the same. It creates a uniform and fair stage for children to compete and showcase their knowledge. It is a form of quizzing as it is timed, there are multiple choice questions, and without any book assistance. With quizzing comes in ability to respond, decision making capability, application learning and guessing for questions that they do not know. Therefore, for us this becomes an annual festival where children come and test their aptitude. And for the children the way we structured it have cash prizes, gratification of the merit list at a national level. This robust structure will help them boost their confidence, and build their profiles. We are also going to create a coveted merit list of top 100 students in each class across the country to help them receive a holistic learning experience.