CREATIVE LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Creative Language Development Efforts: Taking the Innovative Agragamee School Model Forward
Seeking to help more tribal children with its fun and creative learning approach, Agragamee has taken up interventions in Government Primary schools in the three districts of Rayagada, Nabrangpur, and Koraput through the Creative Language Development Efforts (CLDE). An effort for improving reading and language abilities in tribal districts of Odisha, where the community has no history of literacy or school education the programme trains local youth for teaching language and reading in early grades. Government primary schools in these pockets have poorly qualified and under-motivated teachers, resulting in a the majority of students completing elementary school with almost no reading skills. This is a serious shortcoming, as reading fluency is fundamental to all school education, and affects learning and proficiency in every subject. The problem is compounded, as these first generation school goers receive little or no support for class room learning at home. The CLDE addresses the complex set of problems which affect reading, and consequently almost the entire education of a very large number proportion of children.
The program has been taken up through young people with minimum qualification of 12th Pass, who are provided training and supportive Teaching Learning Material (TLM) to work as “ Shiksha Sathies ” or Support Teachers.
The program demonstrates a constructivist model that has successfully addressed the pervasive reading problem in some of the remotest schools in the tribal regions. The programme has the potential to be scaled up to all under-literate pockets of the country
Several surveys indicate that there are problems of reading and comprehension across the country. This model has the potential to tackle this problem across the country.
In a short span of 2 years, the CLDE has significantly improved reading levels in the 18 Government Schools where it was taken up. In two years’ time, the percentage of children who can read fluently at the end of Grade II has increased from 4% to 58%. At the end of Grade III, 80% of the children can read fluently. It has increased children’s attendance in schools from 45% to 77%, and created interest in children to come to school. It enhances children’s creativity, leading to children being able to write and illustrate event reports, village situations and even stories from their imagination. A total of 3000 tribal girls and boys have been reached, and there is a great demand for expanding the program to other schools and districts. 18 young people have been trained as teacher leaders. They have shown outstanding commitment and can be examples to other teachers, as also take up the process of developing more teachers through training, and demonstration.
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