Based on inputs by Shahid Kazi
The UP government is taking steps to improve reading and comprehension skills of students at state run English medium schools.
The state government will launch a graded reading programme for school children. Under the project, at least 1.25 lakh children at 820 primary schools in 12 districts will be helped with reading in English.
Scholastic Short Read Card, an educational tool widely used in schools across the world 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.
“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,” said director, basic education, Sarvendra Vikram Singh.
The program is a step taken based on findings as published in ASER report which has shown that nearly one-third students of classes 1-3 in UP have difficulty in reading.
Amrita Dass, founder of the Institute of Career Studies said “Reading stimulates a number of crucial skills in children. This includes language, creativity, critical thinking and power of expression, besides triggering cognitive development. if innovative approaches to reading can grab their attention, their overall knowledge and skills will be enhanced,” she said.
Scholastic cards for all 820 schools will be sponsored by HCL Foundation’s Samuday Project. Satish Kumar Dwivedi (independent charge) for basic education department will inaugurate the programme virtually.
The districts where the programme will be introduced are Bulandshahr (60 schools), Lakhimpur Kheri (75), Siddharthnagar (65), Hardoi (319), Sonbhadra (40), Shravasti (25), Chitrakoot (25), Varanasi (40), Gorakhpur (95), Gautam Budh Nagar (20), Lucknow (40) and Barabanki (16).