An EdTech Initiative To Transform Reading And Comprehension Skills in Rajasthan Schools | RightToRead
Rajasthan is a state of great diversity. The rich culture and magnificence of the region’s history have made Rajasthan a favourite tourist destination. While Rajasthan has demonstrated progress in various ways, there is an urgent need to transform its public education system.
The literacy rate in Rajasthan places it amongst the lowest-ranked regions in the country. In addition, historically, Rajasthan has lagged in terms of female participation in the education system.
These metrics are mirrored when we look at English literacy and proficiency in Rajasthan.
Challenges to English Literacy in Rajasthan
As per ASER 2016, only 20.2% of the school-going children in Rajasthan can read a basic sentence in English. While 35% of private school students have basic reading and comprehension skills, the percentage for government school students is a mere 9.4%.
As per the 2011 Census, 75% of the population of the state lives in rural areas. Schools in remote regions have little or no connectivity with major towns and cities. Students and teachers have to walk for hours every day to reach school. The state is also home to many indigenous tribal populations. While a large number of children from tribal areas have been brought under the ambit of school education, there is no or little educational support from their families. Most students are first-generation learners.
The state has an enrolment of over 7 million students in more than 70,000 schools. With a majority of these children struggling to acquire basic English reading and comprehension skills, the education system of the state has a complex problem to solve!
RightToRead is a technology-enabled initiative by EnglishHelper to enable English literacy in government schools in India and worldwide. The program enables teachers to teach English, using curriculum prescribed textbooks, by leveraging AI technology that delivers multi-sensory language learning.
The RightToRead program started with 100 schools in 2013 spread across 6 states in India. By 2015, the program had reached 5000 schools impacting the lives of over 1 million students.
Today, RightToRead is spread across 27 states in India and increasingly in other countries across the world. The program now covers around 25,000 schools and over 8 million students are learning English assisted by the multi-sensory AI-powered software, ReadToMe®. The software is trained to read school textbooks in an Indian voice and offers many easy to use features e.g. translations to vernacular.
RightToRead in Rajasthan
The program was initially launched in 2014 in Bodh Shiksha Samiti Schools with support from Good Earth Foundation. In 2018, the RightToRead was implemented in 61 schools in the Rajsamand district of the state. The program is also run in another 32 schools in partnership with the American India Foundation (AIF). Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas spread in 6 districts are also a part of the program. Most recently, another 7 schools have been covered by the RightToRead program in partnership with Smile Foundation. The RightToRead program impacts around 15,000 students and 300 teachers in the state.
C. K Gupta, an English teacher in a government school in Karauli has been a part of the RightToRead initiative since 2018. He uses the ReadToMe® software regularly in his classes. He says, “ReadToMe® is a software one can rely on. I have been using the software for two years. It has proved to be of immense help to the students as well as teachers. It not only enables the children to read the text properly but also to pronounce the words correctly. Our students are curious and eager to attend these classes.”
Rajasthan is complex because of its size, diversity and cultural conventions that may have been barriers for inclusion and success. However, the winds of change are causing the populace to seek a good education for their children. English is a popular ask. RightToRead provides an effective, efficient and scalable way to help students in Rajasthan schools gain English literacy. We hope the small islands of hope built by the hitherto scattered, yet successful, implementation of the program drives confidence for massive scale statewide deployment. We cannot leave any child behind.
Click here for our innovative Spoken English program – EnglishBolo™, a joint Initiative of EnglishHelper and Schoolnet. To know more about EnglishBolo™ connect with us on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.