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Case #780

Improving Indian Literacy Rates The Fun Way


Indians love movies and singing. And many Indians can't read. So what's the connection? Prof. Brij Kothari at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad thinks there is one. He has spent many years propounding a theory by which reading habits could be woven into an activity all Indians love: watching video clips on television. India has a large population of functionally literate people whose reading skills are non-existent or extremely poor. On the other hand this group has the potential to become fully literate and this is what Dr Kothari has set out to do. His idea is extremely simple and do-able at a low cost. Simply add same language sub-titles (SLS) to every video clip that is aired on television.


The Strategy: Improve literacy capacity among Indian low-literacy rate and neo-literate peoples. Add same language sub-titles (SLS) to every video clip that is aired on television.

What Is Working: This reinforces the grapheme-phoneme (picture/sound) associations which are weak in early literate people but which are essential to reading skills Film music based Chitrahaar is India's longest running programme and is extremely popular in villages, Kothari hopes to transform this staple entertainment into 'edutainment'.

Important Points: The "lessons" go easily and cheaply into many situations that are commonplace and very popular among Indians. Outreach is extensive. Several methods of learning are simultaneously used. It doesn't seem like the hard work of learning. Research findings have been consistent: reading ability has improved and 98% of the viewers preferred the songs with SLS than without.
Location: Gujarat, India
Action: Education/P.R.
Setting: Third World
Extent of Action: Regional (within a country)
Issues: Education
Year(s): 2004
Outcome successful
Source: www.goodnewsindia.com/Pages/support/services/printVersion/145_0_2_0/


Prepared By: sl, 2/05
Rating: 1
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