Continuing on my theme for a better world, today, I would like to discuss about basic literacy for them who need it most and the T-E-A-C-H program undertaken by Rotary for the south-east Asia.
I am a Rotarian and grateful for the opportunities this world’s largest non-profit platform provides to get involved in some projects for the society at large. After relentless fight to eradicate Polio from world starting in 1985 and recently reaching the significant milestone of success in India along with Government of India in 2013-14,Rotary has taken up the TEACH program the similar manner in collaboration with Government.
Before we go to the details of the program, below are some statistics about where we stand today as a country.
With definition of literacy considered here is more than being able to read and write names, national average of India around 74% is much lower when compared to other countries. This shows a very contrasting picture India being now the de-facto powerhouse of knowledge industry of the world.
Inside India, while Kerala, Mizoram are far ahead of the average, there are much to be done in the hinterland of central and northern India and here Rotary has decided to join hands with Government of India as per Kathmandu resolution during December, 2013.The TEACH program will complement government initiatives starting from Blackboard program in the year 1987 and continued with other missions like National literacy mission, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Mid Day Meals and Right to Education.
TEACH program will focus on the following areas at the Rotary district and club levels. All clubs are to raise funds for adopting few government schools for underprivileged children to drive down following programs. There are modules of E-Pathsale being rolled out with TCS and other corporates at a nominal price with basic infrastructure being arranged.
For teacher support, Rotary is in discussion with Azim Premji Foundation who focus on teacher support programs across many states in India. I already spoke about E-learning focus above. While Adult Literacy will focus on vocational training along with basic mathematics and business fundamentals, child development program will aim for inclusive education from migrant labourer, differently abled children, children of sex workers and prisoners and other risk categories. Happy schools are making the school look beautiful with the basic hygiene things taken care of.
We, at Rotary, have given ourselves three years’ time at this stage for this uphill task across all states of India through the individual clubs at the grass root levels. We will need your best wishes and support.
More details can be found here. Anyone wanting to get involved at individual capacity can feel free to contact me. It will be a privilege for me to work with you.