Lucknow-based nonprofit, DEVI Sansthan (Dignity Education Vision International) is currently holding a two-day (July11-12) conclave ‘Synergy Summit’ in New Delhi around its work in Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) skills. Sansthan has developed a unique toolkit to impart literacy quickly and is being implemented in districts of Shamli (UP) and Sambalpur (Odisha)—both counted among the bottom 10 districts in literacy within India.
DEVI Sansthan has also come up with the new Global Dream ALfA or Accelerating Learning for All methodology, which claims to get students, read newspapers within 90 days. Dr. Sunita Gandhi, founder of Sansthan who is also a former Economist at the World Bank, is selling this new methodology hard and says it points to a paradigm shift in FLN. ‘Making India Literate in Months, not Years’ is the thrust of this offering. “The two-day event has brought together the heads of several major CSR, NGOs, Embassies, Schools, Universities and the Government to jointly solve India’s biggest education crises,” she says.
Rajnath Singh, Union Minister of Defence, who inaugurated the conclave said it was high time to bring all the stakeholders on the same table to explore transformative solutions to the mammoth crises of foundational literacy and numeracy. Without strategic thinking, and without highly disruptive solutions, the literacy crises will continue to deepen. The children in Grade 3 today have not seen school till recently. Children in Grade 5 lost most of what they learned in Grade 3 before the COVID. Thus, the vast majority of children in the primary grades need urgent support. “We cannot leave it to the teachers alone to solve this major crisis. Entire communities need to be mobilized and all segments of society have to work in synergy. FLN needs to be treated as an emergency, and we need all hands-on deck,” he said.
Dr Abdulla Rasheed Ahmed, Minister of state of Education, Maldives also addressed the conclave and emphasized the importance of literacy as the necessary tool to participate in knowledge economy of present times. The first day of the event also saw the launch of a book written by Dr. Sunita Gandhi: Disruptive Literacy, A Roadmap for Urgent Global Action, and published by Bloomsbury.