While kids take at least a few years to learn the alphabet, read and write, Dr Sunita Gandhi’s new way of inverted learning has made many rural children “literate” in as little as 30 hours.
The former World Bank economist and doctorate from Cambridge University has taught more than five lakh underprivileged kids across the country in the past six years. Gandhi, a Lucknow-based philanthropist, has made this possible through her programme, ‘Global Dream’.
Speaking to News18, Gandhi said, “Thousands of children can’t attend school due to various reasons. Most of them are in rural vicinities. Our aim is to provide basic literacy in as little as 30 days. We have been working on this programme with the help of our volunteers and have been providing this new way of learning to underprivileged kids for free.”
“What makes this initiative unique is the way we teach these kids. We don’t go as per age-old guidelines telling them that A is for Apple. Instead, we show them pictures and ask them about the sounds these words make. We then combine sounds to make a word. It has shown remarkable results. Kids as young as six or seven are able to read newspapers fluently in just 30 days. We hope that this method is implemented on government level, so it can reach all those who can’t afford schools,” said Gandhi, who has been contributing to the field of education through her NGO, Dignity Education Vision International (DEVI) Sansthan.
The motivation behind this programme is the feedback.
“We keep getting testimonials from students across the country about how fast they learned to read and write. Some parents have also taken this programme and told me that they are now literate enough to sign the documents. Many parents tell us with a huge smile on their face that their kid can read and speak English as well,” she added.
The initiative by the former economist has also been adopted by some private schools along with being implemented as pilot projects in various parts of the state.
Not just India, but some foreign countries have also signed memoranda of understanding for Gandhi’s programme. The programme is being taught in more than 15 languages in several countries.
Gandhi said, “My aim was to provide education to everyone with no boundaries of a school. I wanted to make every child literate with basic things, even if he can’t afford to attend school. This was purely on an experimental basis and we were shocked to see the results, after which we decided to develop a full-fledged learning programme based on this method. We have capsuled the entire programme in 30 lessons. There are two books of words and numerals in our toolkit for learning.”
“We are also getting requests from the government to implement this unique way of learning as pilot projects in some districts,” she said.