Department academic Sonali Nag (Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child) is collaborating with the Government of Karnataka to provide the curriculum framework for an oral language and emergent literacy programme planned to enter over 65,000 early childhood centres across South India. The current enrollment is just short of two million children.
The curriculum framework is based on Nag’s research on Indian languages and her evidence briefs on foundation learning in developing countries. Partner agencies include the Department of Women and Child Development, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Education for All mission (Samagra Shikshana Karnataka, SSK), teacher groups, institutions of higher education, educational NGOs, and UNICEF.
The programme is currently in the content development phase. A recent series of workshops saw resource persons draw on the region’s cultural heritage to develop stories for reading and retelling. Alliterations, rhymes and pithy couplets interspersed lively debates on how best to structure daily lessons. Sonali Nag commented, “The aim is to produce a pedagogically sharp, fun-filled and language-rich experience for all children.”
The next phase is to illustrate these narratives in a range of styles, which include easy to ‘read’ folk rendering of stories using basic geometric figures. The yearend will see the piloting of the first lessons and a phased, state-wide roll out is expected to begin in 2020. Beneficiaries will include first generation school goers, children living in print-starved hamlets and homes with limited resources for supporting literacy learning.
More details on Sonali Nag’s research can be found here.
Photo credit G. Arulmani