By Amit Kumar
New Delhi [India], July 5 (ANI): Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' on Monday virtually launched a National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat) for ensuring that every child in the country necessarily attains foundational literacy and numeracy by the end of Grade 3 by 2026-27.
The mission, which has been launched under the aegis of the centrally sponsored scheme of Samagra Shiksha, will focus on providing access and retaining children in foundational years of schooling, teacher capacity building, development of high quality and diversified student and teacher resources and learning materials and tracking the progress of each child in achieving learning outcomes.
Addressing the participants, Pokhriyal said that NIPUN Bharat aims to cover the learning needs of children in the age group of 3 to 9 years.
He said that teachers need to focus on every child for developing basic language, literacy and numeracy skills which will help them develop into better readers and writers.
NIPUN Bharat envisages making the experience of learning at the foundational stage holistic, integrated, inclusive, enjoyable, and engaging, he added.
Referring to National Education Policy 2020, the minister said it has laid down that attaining foundational literacy and numeracy for all children must become an immediate national mission.
"In keeping with this, the Department has developed a comprehensive guideline under NIPUN Bharat, through a series of intensive consultations with implementing partners, experts to make it flexible and collaborative," he said.
The minister said it covers key technical aspects of foundational literacy and numeracy as well as the administrative aspects for effectively setting up implementation mechanisms at the national, state, district, block and school levels.
He also informed that an approval of Rs 2688.18 crore has already been given under the Samagra Shiksha scheme to the states and UTs for implementation of the various interventions for the foundational stage in 2021-22.
Speaking on the occasion Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre said that quality education is the bedrock of a strong nation and foundational education in literacy and numeracy skills is its core component.
The minister said that in the coming years, this mission will change the outlook of school education and will strongly impact India in the 21st century.
Dhotre stressed that NIPUN Bharat will not only help students take a big leap in their higher classes but it will also have a major impact in making students globally competitive.
An official release said that the goals of the mission are set in the form of Targets for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.
Although, the overall aim is to achieve the desired learning outcomes by the end of grade 3, however, in order to generate greater awareness among the parents, community, volunteers, the targets have been developed from "Balvatika to Grade 3.
The targets are based on the learning outcomes developed by the NCERT and international research and ORF studies.
For example, a child should be able to read 45to 60 words per minute and at least 60 words per minute correctly by the end of Grade II and III respectively from an age-appropriate unknown text with comprehension and clarity.
The release said that the success of NIPUN Bharat will primarily depend on teachers and there will be a special emphasis on capacity building of teachers.
It said that a special package for foundational literacy and numeracy under NISHTHA is being developed by NCERT and around 25 lakh teachers teaching at pre-primary to primary grade will be trained this year on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN). (ANI)