Short time horizons and practical constraints make it implausible for many illiterates to go get literate, let alone get an education.

At the heart of the transformation process is a TOOLKIT for Global Dream Literacy Programme and a Campaign: "Each One Teach At Least One." Anyone who can read, can teach anyone to read. They can learn anytime and anywhere. Using this TOOLKIT most anyone can learn to read a newspaper within a month with an average of 20 minute sessions per day. There is no faster programme to teach a person to read!

"Some people are able to acquire literacy faster than others. Whether they get it on the first try or the second, or not get it at all until the fourth lesson, the joy you see when they are finally able to read words for themselves is wonderful. It might take only a month or two to give someone a gift that will continue to pay off for the rest of their lives. Who wouldn't want to give that gift?” Jon, a Volunteer

Next steps in the programme include writing and numeracy that will take an individual to Class III level of proficiency within six months. Further levels include a 'Global Dream Backpack' that includes all that is necessary for a child or adult to reach Class V competency within another six months. WIth the NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling) Open Basic Education Programme, these individuals can take a NIOS test at Class III and V levels and join the mainstream.

Perhaps it will be easier to convince a person to go to school after they have already felt empowered by the mere act of being able to learn much in a short span of time, whether it be simply reading or greater levels of achievement in language and numeracy. In Global Dream, a learner starts to read 2-letter words from the first day and this creates inner motivation and the impetus in him / her to carry on.

Children who do not presently attend school, will most likely never emerge from poverty in their lifetime. Official data indicates nearly 40% of adults above 15 and 25% of children from 6-15 are illiterate. In spite of tremendous effort by the government and social institutions, literacy rates have grown really slowly even in the last decade.

Perhaps one reason for this is mismatch between the needs of the underprivileged and illiterate populations and the typical curriculum, teaching and methods of delivery (need a school, teacher, fixed timings, several years). It typically takes a long time to get literate, usually three years, time the illiterates can ill afford.

If we are to ensure a literate India, we need to think out of the box. After struggling for 14 years, the team at Global Classroom finally developed a curriculum that better matches the needs of the illiterate populations and has to make a transformative impact on the lives of millions in India and worldwide.

Global Dream is a non-profit initiative of Global Classroom Pvt. Ltd. in collaboration with DEVI Sansthan: Dignity, Education, Vision International (since 1992) and Center for Innovation in Education, USA. All proceeds of the programme in India and all sponsorships are made in the name of DEVI Sansthan, 12A, 80G (tax deductible) and FCRA. The initiative is directed by Dr Sunita Gandhi, Ph.D., Cambridge University, UK, Co-Founder, Council for Global Education, USA, Founder, DEVI Sansthan, and Global Classroom Pvt. Ltd. She also serves as Honorary Chief Academic Advisor at her family run, CMS: City Montessori School, Lucknow, the World's Largest School, a Guinness World Record Holder since 1999, and Recipient of the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education 2002.

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