New Delhi: India has approximately 150 million children in primary education, nearly half of which are unable to read well. According to a UNESCO report of September 2016, “India will be half a century late in achieving universal education goals.” India’s poorest are disproportionately affected by this, which creates entrenched cycles of poverty.
The 300M Alliance has been formed with the objective of reaching the goal of universal reading for all children by 2050. Founded by a group of likeminded people and organisations, and led by Katha, this initiative aims to help children ‘Learn to Read. Read to Learn’.
The 300M Challenge volunteers and mentors will focus on children between the ages of 5 and 10, encouraging them to read with the use of colourful books and community libraries. Katha has developed exciting print and digital material, based on their tried and tested Story Pedagogy, to encourage reading within 3 months. Katha is developing teaching methods for primary schools which are easy to understand and explain and are designed to increase the students’ reading abilities. An increase in the proportion of students who are able to read well will be a positive step in the direction of ending entrenched poverty.
300M partners include Aagaaz, Amazon, Aseem’s Library, Bhaagta Bharat, CRY, Cure India, Facebook, Helpage India, India International Centre, Oracle, Pricewaterhouse Coopers Pvt. Ltd., SEWA, Teach for India, United Way of Delhi and over 100 schools across 17 states in India. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), through its key programme, Millennium Alliance (MA), is providing support and guidance to this programme.
A panel discussion of the Strategic Partners was held today advocating the Power of LEAP (Leverage. Advocate. Partner). Speaking during the discussion, Mr. Nirankar Saxena, Assistant Secretary General, FICCI, stated, “Millennium Alliance is proud to support Katha in its 300 Million Challenge that intents to bring every child to grade level reading and make reading a joyful experience”.
The MA is an inclusive platform to leverage Indian creativity, expertise, and resources to identify and scale innovative solutions being developed and tested in India to address development challenges that will benefit base of the pyramid populations across India and the world.
Under FICCI’s leadership and in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Technology Development Board (TDB) and other MA partners, the Alliance will provide innovators with services such as seed funding, grants, incubation and accelerator services, networking opportunities, business support services, knowledge exchange and technical assistance, and will facilitate access to equity, debt and other capital. Through the Millennium Alliance, USAID, FICCI, TDB and other partners, will help realize India’s role as a global innovation laboratory.