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Katha To Help 300 million Underprivileged Children Through Digital Library
The facilities that students get in government schools are not sufficient. The initiative, started by an alliance of NGOs and corporate houses, aims at helping children read and write with the help of other children in 17 states
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Katha, an NGO working for the past 30 years have launched an initiative called 300 million challenge which aims to help children learn and educate by making learning fun.
There are 150 million children who can read, and 150 million who cannot. If children can make the difference, they must start with one another, with their own world.
The facilities that students get in government schools are not sufficient. The initiative, started by an alliance of NGOs and corporate houses, aims at helping children read and write with the help of other children in 17 states.
According to a UNESCO report of September 2016, India will be half a century late in achieving its universal education goals. The country will be able to reach universal primary education only by 2050.
Geeta Dharmarajan, executive director, Katha said, "We have around 550 libraries in different parts of Delhi where our volunteers teach children. We have chosen 50 slums where we will be starting these libraries soon. The campaign will soon spread to 17 states across India. With the help of other NGOs we will connect private schools with the government ones to achieve our goal.”
With the collective partnership of other NGOs such as Help Age India, Teach for India and SEWA, the campaign, which is also being supported by several private companies, has unfurled a plan under which groups of children will read together with diffident child readers who are at risk of dropping out of schools.
Katha welcomes all frugal innovations, from print to digitalisation, storytelling, theatre, arts and crafts, literature and literary arts, handicrafts and more that will strengthen the basics which is reading. The NGO is leveraging technology as a medium simultaneously.
An E-Kit has been developed and is launching 5 books in an interactive manner. Volunteers can use this e-kit to help another child read and learn 250 words in 3 months. Each book has a set of activities at the back which will help the child reader not just read the words but understand big ideas like equality, earth matters and compassion. An online reading test is also being developed that should be ready by 2018 which can be administered by our partners.
But most importantly, the results should show up gradually in schools where the 300M is active, doing well in their classroom tests and schools reporting better results.
The initiative will focus on learning and reading, so that children become lifelong readers who are capable of entrepreneurship; skilling themselves with the focus on helping children enjoy reading.