Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat: In the school curriculum reading and writing continues to be confined to textbooks to a large extent, despite the giving effect of National Curriculum Framework 2005 under RTE Act, 2009. An overwhelming majority of teachers believe that completing the prescribed course material is their main and only professional concern.
Thus reading remained passive in school curriculum. Reading to construct or derive meaning as a means of language acquisition and of communication and of sharing of information and ideas often gets neglected and the child fails to become a competent reader.
The Yashpal Committee in its report on Learning without Burden (1993) had highlighted the meaningless and joyless nature of school based learning in India and strongly raised the issue of non- comprehension in the classroom.
Reading is essentially a process of meaning making i.e, comprehension. Reading is an interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the context-the reader’s prior knowledge, experience, attitude and language of community which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continuous practice, development and refinement. In addition, reading requires creativity and critical analysis.
Though reading has always been recognised as a key component of a sound educational programme, existing plans of many school systems do not ensure children’s acquisition and proficiency over reading skills and to make them motivated readers and writers. The NCERT Mathura study and results of National Achievement Surveys on the reading, writing and comprehension (Class III) clearly suggest revisiting the existing language development- listening, speaking, reading and writing with comprehension.
Thus a nationwide programme can be launched to improve language development to create an enduring interest in reading and writing with comprehension as a lifelong activity. It is based on the premise that children need meaningful and socially relevant engagement with books, along with various opportunities to actively and purposefully engage with a variety of print based reading and writing activities.
Except for some urban and rural localities endowed with Pre-primary classes, the primary schools are the first to introduce literacy to children and thus making the reading and writing relevant, interesting and meaningful to their lives, has been a challenge of our school system.
Classes I and II are important stages for developing the important skill of reading with comprehension and writing with a purpose. It is important to create enabling environment and opportunities for reading and writing.
Children who fail to learn to read in the first two grades of school are likely to fall behind and have difficulty in learning other subjects as well. Poor readers cannot develop proper writing skills and are vulnerable to drop out of the education system undermining the quality of life and productivity of human resources.
Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat: The National Curriculum Framework – 2005 has clearly pointed out “A majority of children have a sense of fear and failure regarding Mathematics. Hence, they give up early on, and drop out of serious mathematical learning.” Far too many abstractions are introduced at once with scant attention to well-known facts about development of mathematical thinking in children.
Many a time, the tendency embedded in teaching is to accelerate children’s mathematical skills by teaching them mechanical rules at the expense of understanding and intelligent application. Therefore, there is a need to help the children learn mathematics in a way that develops liking and understanding of the mathematics during the early years of schooling, particularly in classes I and II.
A nationwide sub-programme to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) ‘Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat” is planned in a twin track approach. (i) to improve language development by creating an enduring interest in reading and writing with comprehension; and (ii) to create a natural and positive interest in mathematics related to the physical and social world.
The two tracks of Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat are:
1. Early Reading and Writing with Comprehension
2. Early mathematics
Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat Twin Track Approach Objectives
1. To enable children to become motivated, independent and engaged readers and writers with comprehension possessing sustainable and lasting reading and writing skills and achieve learning levels appropriate to the class of study.
2. To make the children understand the reasoning in the domains of number, measurement and shapes; and enable them to become independent in problem solving by way of numeracy and spatial understanding skills.
3. To associate reading and writing with the experience of joy and real life situation.
4. To recognize social perspective of home- school transition and the role of children’s literature in the process of building independent and engaged readers and writers. By
1 .Initiating a dialogue with Teachers, Head Teachers, Parents, Educational Administrators and Policy makers and attention on the pedagogy of reading and writing ; and early mathematics.
2. Creating sensitisation about the needs of children of classes I and II with reference to meaningful processes of reading and writing and early mathematics.
3 .Creating a cadre of resource groups and teachers well acquainted with pedagogy of reading and writing ; and early mathematics.
4. Creating classroom and school environment conducive and vibrant to early reading and writing experiences ; and early mathematics.