How will the NIPUN Bharat Program promote foundational literacy?

Policy Making Jul 27, 2021

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The Union Minister of Education, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal virtually launched the NIPUN Bharat programme on 5 July 2021. NIPUN stands for National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy. The program ensures that every child in the country will attain foundational literacy and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27. The programme has been launched under the aegis of the centrally sponsored scheme of Samagra Shiksha, along with a short video, anthem and NIPUN Bharat Guidelines.

NIPUN Bharat focuses on providing access and retaining children in foundational years(3-9years) of schooling. The programme's key focuses are teacher capacity building, keeping a track of each child's progress and developing high quality and diversified resources and learning materials for students and teachers. It requires the teachers to focus on every individual child for developing basic language, literacy and numeracy skills. This would help mould the children into better readers and writers by making the process of learning holistic, integrated, inclusive, enjoyable and engaging. The Department has developed a comprehensive guideline under NIPUN Bharat, to get the National Education Policy 2020 into an immediate national mission to make it flexible and collaborative. The programme covers key technical aspects of foundational literacy and numeracy. It also covers the administrative aspects by setting up a mechanism to implement the project at the National, State, District, Block and School level.

The goals of this mission are set in the form of Lakshya Soochi or Targets for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy. The Lakshayas have been developed from Balvatika to Grade 3 to generate greater awareness among the parents, community and volunteers. These Laskhyas are based on the learning outcomes developed by the NCERT and international research and ORF studies.

The implementation of the goals and objectives of the NIPUN Bharat could have the following outcomes. The basic foundational skills would enable children to actively participate in class following fewer dropouts. Activity-based learning and innovation of pedagogies such as toy-based and experiential learning will make the class more engaging and enjoyable. Proper  guidance and the building of teachers will make them more empowered. A Holistic Progress card to be maintained for the child that focuses on holistic development of a child with domains like physical and motor development, socio-emotional development, literacy and numeracy development, cognitive development and life skills. Focusing on the early stage of development could ensure equitable and inclusive education. These overall developments could have a positive impact on later life and employment.

Thus, the idea of  NIPUN Bharat is formed to support and encourage students along with their schools, teachers, parents, and communities. Students are the future of the country and this programme will help them to discover their potential and contribute to the development of our country.The Ministers at the inaugural ceremony have stressed that, "NIPUN Bharat will not only help our students to take a big leap in their higher classes, but it will also have a major impact in making our students globally competitive."

This article has been written by Sharon John for The Paradigm

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