How To Teach Kids to Read in as Little as 50 Days

How To Teach Kids to Read in as Little as 50 Days

November 27, 2019 24 By Stanley Isaacs


(slow music) – Around the globe the belief was that if you open a school
children will learn. But children are not learning. For example in India 97% children are enrolled in schools but approximately 50% children go to fifth grade and cannot
read a second grade paragraph. The question to be asked is why? All human knowledge is
stored in words and numbers. If you don’t have
foundational skills all doors to acquiring wider knowledge are closed. And that’s, I think, a global problem. In the Pratham program it takes 50 days for a child to learn to read. If that is possible how long will it take for 100 million children to read? Is the answer 50 times 100 million or are we talking about 50 days? I have been working in this
sector for the last 25 years. Everybody is trying to find
answers to the same problem. How can we get all children to learn. I think it’s easy to
see in Indian schools, there are those who have
access to pre-school education, parents are educated, they form what I would call the front of the class. And the remainder who don’t
have pre-school education, they form the back of the classroom. And the teacher actually more engaged with the front of the classroom and the back of the classroom
gets more and more neglected. I think that needs to be shaken up and said, “do something about it.” Pratham solution for this problem is called Teaching at the Right Level. The place to start is always assessment. Visual piece of paper with
some words, some alphabets and some long paragraphs. Depending upon which one children can read that is the level of the child. Instead of teaching
children at every age grade, we actually try to grow
children according to levels. The activities are
divided into three parts. The class begins with
everybody participating in a story listening activity. Because that doesn’t reading,
it only requires listening and learning the words. And then they break up into small groups. The alphabet readers are
engaging with all kinds of phonemic charts and so on and they can read words
before they know it. So if you know words,
you are given paragraphs. So before they know it, they’ve
become paragraph readers. And the third activity is then the children individually do some writing. So every child actually
starts progressing. In the Pratham program it
takes 50 days for a child to learn to read. Children feel good about themselves. It’s not only about
reading, writing, arithmetic, believing in yourself is the most important strength
that you can acquire. And its great fun. – Pratham has worked together with J-Pal affiliated professors for over 15 years to evaluate and adapt the
approach to work at scale. We’re a global research center, J-Pal conducts randomized evaluations on social programs. One of the most impressive studies was conducted in Uttar Pradesh. Students who attended the learning camp, at the end of the program, double the number of those kids could read a simple paragraph than those children who
didn’t attend the program. What we’re trying to do at J-Pal is best support governments and
a number of organizations which are trying to adopt
Teaching at the Right Level, to help them do that as best as they can. – Good morning sir. – All the government primary
schools have been covered under this program. There has been a significant improvement within a very short period of time. I believe that Teaching
at Right Level is a must. It has no substitute. – Last year we reached 8 million children. We must make sure that all
children will learn to read. And then once you do that in
a country the size of India, why can’t it be done globally? (metal clanging) – The Teaching at the Right
Level program in Zambia, has been implemented in 1,100 schools. And next year the program
will go to 1,800 schools. When you see kids learning,
you see kids light up and feel empowered. Teaching at the Right Level is one way of empowering these children that I think could be really meaningful throughout their lives. – Kids are not resistant to learning, it’s just the way you package it. (children singing) I think we’re giving back
children their childhood. That’s the Teaching at the Right Level. Its about my self esteem
that I am somebody and then I’m gonna grow. Hey, thanks for watching our video,
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