The RightToRead Program Aims At Improving English Literacy Using EdTech
In Himachal Pradesh, almost 15 lakh children are enrolled in school. The state has introduced the study of English as a second language from grade 1. Though Himachal Pradesh has achieved a literacy rate of beyond 80%, surveys indicate learning English is still a challenge, especially for students in government schools (ASER 2018). The RightToRead program is an EdTech initiative aimed at improving students’ English reading and comprehension. The program was launched in Himachal Pradesh in 2018 in partnership with Schoolnet. The RightToRead program has been implemented in selected schools for grades 6-10 across all 12 districts of the state.
RightToRead – An ‘Edtech for English Literacy’ Initiative
RightToRead is an EdTech initiative that aims to enable English literacy in India (and globally) with the help of multi-sensory reading and comprehension AI software – ReadToMe®. Research indicates, language is learnt best when learners are exposed to the language in a multi-sensory environment. ReadToMe®, the AI software, enables the reading of prescribed English textbooks during normal class hours. Across the education system in India, RightToRead is an example of a unique and successful blend of technology and education.
RightToRead program in government schools of Himachal Pradesh
Currently, the RightToRead program is successfully deployed in more than 1500 government schools of the state. Teachers are trained on how to use multi-sensory AI software – ReadToMe® in class. ReadToMe® has various features e.g. word translation to vernacular, picture dictionary, pronunciation tool and slow speed read-aloud. Teachers observe greater student engagement leading to higher retention and better learning outcomes. The software can be deployed across devices including Android phones. The device can be connected to any projection system including TV screens. Just a single installation is generally sufficient to enable reading of English text book during normal class periods for each grade in a government school with 150 to 200 students.
Anil Kumar is an English teacher in a government school in Durah. He says, “the ReadToMe® software is very easy to use, students love its audio-visual features; it makes English class more interactive. Moreover, it also helps the teachers to learn correct pronunciation of words.” Today, the RightToRead program has empowered more than 4500 English teachers and reaches almost 2 lakh students across 12 districts of the state.