Pratham’s flagship program, Read India, helps to improve the reading, writing and basic arithmetic skills of the children in the age group of 6-14 years. Even though India has made significant strides in improving the enrollment levels of the children, a lot still needs to be done as far as the learning levels are concerned. Findings of ASER 2005 and 2006 revealed that a significant percentage of children could not read, write and even do basic arithmetic.
Read India was therefore launched on a national scale in 2007 to help achieve the following objectives:
• All Std I children know at least alphabets & numbers.
• All Std II children can read at least words & do simple sums.
• All Std III-V children can at least read simple texts fluently & confidently solve arithmetic problems.
Read India seeks to catalyze existing resources and energize structures to strengthen children’s learning. The campaign is being executed with the help of school teachers, anganwadi workers and volunteers, who are mobilized and trained by Pratham teams. While the school teachers work inside their schools, volunteers and anganwadi workers work with children and their mothers outside school. Partnerships have been forged with 11 state governments for the implementation of the program.
Read India has created the largest nationwide impact and is already producing impressive results. In 2008-09, the campaign reached 33 million children across 19 states. It covered 305,000 out of the 600,000 villages of India and mobilized 450,000 volunteers.
Over 600,000 teachers/ officials/ government workers have been trained. In most states, out of the children who were a part of the intervention, the proportion of those not able to read alphabets is down to zero. Likewise, the proportion of children able to read simple sentences is up by almost 20%.
In 2009-10 Read India moved to the next level, Read India II
, focuses on higher grade-specific learning competencies, where basics have been achieved.2010 onwards, Read India II moved from our previously used model of short-term large-scale learning campaign mode to a longer, more sustained presence in the villages that we work in, in order to bring about a deeper more permanent impact.
Pratham’s programs will now run in the selected locations for a continuous period of one year and create strong demonstrations of a workable model such that learning levels of children increase with the involvement of the community and the teachers. The objective is to create a demonstration model that can be scaled up by other stakeholders, government being the primary stakeholder.
CAMaL (Combined activities for Maximized Leaning), Pratham’s teaching methodology, evolved as a result of the various stages of work on learning in different locations through “Learning to Read (L2R)” and “Reading to Learn (R2L)” methodologies. It combines reading, speaking, doing, writing in a variety of ways to enhance and accelerate the learning of a child.
Read India II is implemented through the Block Excellence Program (BEP). A block consists of 100 villages where a variety of activities are conducted by local Pratham members, relating to the following three objectives:
• Improvement in learning level
• Improvement in community engagement
• Influencing teaching practices in the government schools