Private lender HDFC Bank’s flagship CSR programme Parivartan and Central Square Foundation (CSF) announced their alliance support Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) programmes in 5 states namely Assam, Punjab, Telangana, Odisha and Tamil Nadu. Both partners will closely work to support the state governments in implementing FLN programmes, borrowing heavily from the guidelines suggested by the Ministry of Education while launching NIPUN Bharat — the national mission on FLN. The partnership aims to improve FLN outcomes in these 5 states to achieve the vision outlined by the National Education Policy 2020.
“Under Parivartan, promoting education, and financial literacy and inclusion are focus areas for us,” said Ms Nusrat Pathan, CSR Head of Parivartan by HDFC Bank. “Foundational literacy and numeracy are an important aspect to enhance learning capabilities of children. The pandemic disturbed schooling schedules and unequal access to quality education support has set back children. An on-ground intervention with innovative solutions was a need of the hour. We are confident this collaboration will deliver long-lasting impact for the beneficiaries.”
“If action is not taken soon, we could lose 100 million or more students to illiteracy over the next few years,” said Mr Ashish Dhawan, Founder-Chairperson of CSF. “We at Central Square Foundation, understand the importance of quality education for the children of this country and are committed to the goal of supporting the central and various governments in strengthening their FLN programmes and ensuring all children in India attain FLN skills by grade 3”.
The Foundational Literacy and Numeracy programmes would be addressing the learning gap during the uncertain times created by the pandemic. The project’s focus will be on achieving improved student learning outcomes through multiple pathways including goal-setting, teacher capacity building, development of teaching.
Nandita Medhi, State Programme Officer, Samagra Shiksha Assam, said: “Our focus in Assam has been on bridging the digital divide and plugging the learning loss. We are distributing academic packages to students across Assam, and more than 25 lakh students from class 1 to 5 would benefit from these packages.”
Gangadhar from SCERT Odisha said: “Concerted efforts by the government(s) and NGO partners can help improve learning outcomes. Regular review meetings will be the first step towards effective collaboration”.
Tahseen Sultana from SCERT Telangana said: “The Project Management Unit (PMU) led by CSF in Telangana has been supporting the state government in ensuring children, especially those in FLN grades, continue to learn at home with effective EdTech solutions.
Krishnan, Associate Project Director at CSF, while presenting an update on CSF initiatives in the states, said “Our work in the state aims to co-create a strategy to reorient the focus of the education sector toward improving learning outcomes, with particular attention to achieving foundational learning by Grade 3”, said Mr Krishnan. “CSF is providing technical, research, project design and implementation support for all elements of this reform initiative”.