EdTech | English Literacy Initiative| Education System in India | Technology | Reading and Comprehension Skills
The National Education Policy (NEP) 1986 envisaged the establishment of residential schools known as Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNVs) for talented students, predominantly from rural India. The Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti was tasked with the establishment and administration of these fully residential and co-educational schools. JNVs were responsible for discovering outstanding students from the weakest sections of rural India, and providing them with quality education at par with the best schools in the nation, irrespective of their socio-economic background.
As of now, 636 JNVs are operating across 28 states and 7 Union Territories. At the end of the academic year 2018-2019, the total enrollment in JNVs was over 2.6 Lakh students.
JNVs practice the three language model; English is a compulsory subject. Students from various rural areas secure admission in JNVs from grade 6 onwards. Coming from diverse backgrounds, these students often lack English reading and comprehension skills.
English literacy is not just a challenge for JNV students. Across the country, students in government schools struggle to read and comprehend even simple English sentences.
EnglishHelper, a social enterprise, initiated the RightToRead program- an English literacy initiative in 2013. RightToRead is an initiative to deploy technology-enabled English reading and comprehension in classrooms. The program intends to reach every child in government schools in rural and urban areas.
RightToRead in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas
In August 2018, EnglishHelper and Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti agreed to implement the RightToRead program (an English literacy initiative) in 120 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas which are spread across 26 states and 4 Union Territories. The program impacts over 21,000 children and more than 300 teachers in these schools.
The RightToRead program deploys a multi-sensory AI-powered reading and comprehension software – ReadToMe® – in classrooms. ReadToMe® is trained to read the prescribed English textbooks. The software has various easy to use tools like the dictionary, picture dictionary, and translation. The ReadToMe® enabled English classes are easily integrated with the school timetable. Assessments conducted in various parts of the country have shown a 30 to 50% improvement in the English language skills of students exposed to this method of reading English textbooks in class.
What Do the Teachers Say?
“In the first ReadToMe® class itself, my students of class 6 were immensely happy and got interested in learning English pronunciation, lexical meaning and translation”, says Kaustav Roy, a teacher in JNV, Arunachal Pradesh.
Narayan Matolya of Chattisgarh tells us, “ReadToMe® is amazing as teachers and students can take advantage of technology blended education.”
C.K Gupta of JNV Jatnagla, Karauli, Rajasthan 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.”
The idea behind JNVs was to provide quality education to students with great potential, from the disadvantaged sections of society. The opportunity to learn and educate oneself should not be a privilege of a few, but the right of all. The RightToRead program is committed to the principle of ‘no child is left behind’.The initiative that began in 2013 with just 100 schools in India, has now been implemented in around 25,000 schools impacting over 8M children. The program is estimated to reach 100,000 schools and 20M children by 2020. We hope during this period, RightToRead will expand its JNV footprint from 120 schools to reach all the 2.6 Lakh JNV students across the country.
To know how to use ReadToMe® picture dictionary tool please click here.
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