Yogi govt to launch English reading program for kids

Lucknow, Aug 26 (IANS) The Yogi Adityanath government is launching a graded reading programme for children in English medium government schools to help them improve reading skills.

Under the project, at least 1.25 lakh children at 820 primary schools in 12 districts will be initiated into English reading. Minister of state (independent charge) for Basic Education department Satish Kumar Dwivedi will inaugurate the programme virtually on Wednesday.

Scholastic Short Read Card, an educational tool widely used in schools across the world to encourage and improve English reading skills in children, will be used to improve reading skills of children. Scholastic is a US company which has been into publications for children for almost 50 years.

The cards, which are commonly used in urban elite schools, contain pictures and stories in fiction and non-fiction genres along with instructions for teachers and activities to make reading a high-retention activity.

Sarvendra Vikram Singh, Director, Basic Education, said, “A number of cards from the set, which will be used in schools, have been re-imagined to include regional aspects and considerations by an expert panel.”

Officials at the Basic Education department said Scholastic cards for all 820 schools were being sponsored by HCL Foundation's Samuday Project. The districts where the programme will be introduced are Bulandshahr (60 schools), Lakhimpur Kheri (75), Siddharth Nagar (65), Hardoi (319), Sonbhadra (40), Shravasti (25), Chitrakoot (25), Varanasi(40), Gorakhpur (95), Gautam Buddha Nagar (20), Lucknow (40) and Barabanki (16).

Educationists believe that the programme is the need of the hour, especially in the backdrop of the ASER report which has shown that nearly one-third students of classes 1 to 3 in UP have difficulty reading. “Reading stimulates a number of crucial skills in children. This includes language, creativity, critical thinking and power of expression, besides triggering cognitive development,” said Amrita Dass, a well-known educationist.

She said children prefer engaging in audio-visual activities. “If innovative approaches to reading can grab their attention, their overall knowledge and skills will be enhanced,” she added.



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