According to the third Global Monitoring Report on Adult Learning and Education, 2016 approximately 758 million adults, including 114 million young people aged between 15 and 24, still cannot read or write a simple sentence. Roughly two, out of three adults with insufficient literacy skills are women (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2016). In addition, of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls on countries to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’
SHIKSHA Initiative has devised a unique approach to drive adult literacy initiatives under a speared program – SHIKSHA Plus. This uses an ICT-based methodology to teach the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic skills to illiterate adults who have not attended a formal school. The target group for the program is anyone who may have missed the opportunity of formal education. Thus, individuals above 15 years of age are imparted education in this program.
For the implementation of SHIKSHA Plus, preference is given to gram panchayats that may have reported low literacy rates and are likely to have the SHIKSHA Elementary program at the primary school. Post taking necessary approvals from the local administrations, a baseline survey is conducted to understand the preliminary status of education to design appropriate interventions. Adult learners are divided into batches and an instructor from within the community is identified keeping in mind the leaners’ familiarity and comfort. Regular assessments and activities keep the learners engaged throughout the program.