First Reading Mela In Delhi on 16 October

Since the onset of the first time government of Aam Admi Party at the state level, almost every governmental decision of it has been looked upon with excruciating eyes by the opposition parties.

However, in what must come as a welcome relief to the dwindling state of education in the country, as a source of respite, the deputy chief minister of New Delhi, Mr. Manish Sisodiya, who also happens to hold the education portfolio has gone so far as to administer a pledge to students and teachers that all children studying in Class 6 to 8 should be able to read by Children’s Day, November 14.

“The government has constantly worked on improving infrastructure and teaching conditions in government schools of Delhi. Improving learning levels of children is also a priority for our Government. The 100 per cent ‘Ability to Read’ initiative will go a long way in helping children learn better and faster in schools,” Sisodia said.

Chunauti, which literally means a challenge, is an initiative which aims to provide special attention to students who are unable to comprehend their regular textbooks and are not regular readers can acquire the ability to read with comprehension.

These students from ‘Nishta level’ who have, so far now, achieved normal reading, comprehension skills as well as mathematical pre-requisites would be transferred to the grade-appropriate syllabus according to their individual standings over the remaining academic year.

As a part of the program, it has also been suggested that ‘those students who are yet novice in the world of reading, will be given special attention as well as support in order to ensure that they acquire the skills of reading together with comprehension.

It has also been disclosed that, “one hour a day is being set aside for reading based activities, and a special teacher has been assigned for every set of 30 non-readers to provide them with extra support.” According to the sources, in order to ensure the efficacy of the program, the Directorate of Education himself is monitoring the progress through various activities. Each Saturday, the teacher has to conduct a review of the class’ reading levels using assessment tools designed by SCERT.

Regional Directors of Education have been bound to hold weekly review meetings, along with the Deputy Directors of Education, Heads of Schools and Mentor Teachers, to monitor the progress of the “Every Child Can Read” campaign. School Management Committees (SMCs) of some schools will be organising ‘Reading Melas’ where local children will come with their parents and participate in fun reading activities in a community area.

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