The Covid-19 pandemic has been a game-changer. For nearly 1.5 years, work-from-home and schooling-at-home have become the norm for many households across the country.

What does this imply for the world of early learning? Indeed, excessive screen time has raised many concerns. But, with parents working nearly 8-10 hours of the day, smartphones, tablets and other devices seem to ‘effective’ tools of distraction.  

Totto Learning’s Co-Founder - Jofin Joseph - felt otherwise. He said that online classes would not be effective for children in the age group of 0-6 years as they are yet to learn more about the world. Needless to say, these kids aren’t aware of structured systems such as schools and classrooms.  

So, is there a favourable solution? 

According to Jofin, the parent could be guided to help assess their child’s development themselves. In turn, they would become an active part of his or her life. Considering the fact that these children spend a large part of their lives at home, it is important for the parents to be motivated to help their children attain their milestones.  

What was the idea behind Totto Learning? 

The story behind this startup dates back to April 2020.

Jofin Joseph is a seasoned entrepreneur. His previous company Profoundis was, in fact, even acquired by a US-based company called FullContact. More importantly, he is a father to a three-year-old son. His passion for startups and a desire to educate children in a meaningful manner prompted him to speak with Jubin, another co-founder of the company. Soon, the team began brainstorming ways by which early learning could be made less technology-dependent and more interactive offline.  

According to Anoop, the academic head of the this Kochi-based Startup, hopes to redefine early learning and not limit it to academics. This is done by focusing on the skills that the child would need as opposed to mere lessons from a book.

An example of this could be discovering patterns in numbers. The company also emphasis on aspects that the child would learn naturally (such as sounds of birds and animals).

Anoop has been homeschooling his five-year-old child for a while and strongly believes that a child needs more than the typical academic curriculum for his or her overall development. 

How does Totto address these areas? 

Totto Learning is unlike many online education platforms. It provides a combination of offline and online training tools. These only help the child grow, but also ensure that the parents are involved in their activities. 

The company recently launched a beta version of its mobile app (its Google Playstore version would be available soon) that provides tips and suggestions to parents with children of the above-mentioned age group. It also offers parents an online one-on-one training session with an expert in the field. The interaction aims to hone the different elements of parenting.  

Wait, aren’t these online tools? 

While the app and online tools are resources meant for parents. The company offers children an 'offline' learning experience.This contains a variety of ‘non-screen’ based visual content, games and many more products that enhance a child’s development as well as creativity.

For this, Totto Learning has tied up with companies based in different parts of the country to acquire these items before presenting them as a package deal! 

Then again, would these methods cease to exist after schools and daycare centres reopen? 

To understand this, Totto Learning had conducted a survey among a group of well earning working parents. The company found that while 60 per cent of the parents were keen on sending their children to school after the pandemic, about 40 per cent of them believed in a parallel education system. In other words, they wanted their children to attend school as well as practice a set of activities that could add value to their personalities.  

So far, the company has 200 sign-ups for the app. About 50 people have purchased their offline kits.  Presently the company is also working on projects that could help parents with children who have special needs.