In 2014, DEVI launched an innovative toolkit to promote literacy: the Global Dream program. Since then, the materials have been experimented with and continuously improved, to make this one of the most effective literacy programs in India. This section explores why there is a need for the Global Dream toolkit, presents the data on the efficacy of the Global Dream materials, explains the principles underpinning the program, and shares a few stories of the differences it’s made in the lives of people we’re working with.
There is a tremendous need for literacy.India has the world’s largest population of illiterates: according to UNESCO, 287 million adults in India are illiterate – 5 times more than the next most, China. While literacy rates are growing (from 64% to 74% between the 2001 and 2011 Censuses), the rate of improvement is disappointingly slow. This lack of literacy has major negative consequences economically, politically and socially; at all scales, from individual to national.
Having established the extent and seriousness of the problem, we explain the principles that underpin the Global Dream program. Sadly, the dominant model for education in India is teacher-centred, rote-learning based, and reliant on fear and punishment. In contrast, Global Dream is built on the idea of a friendly, safe environment, in which the learner is asked questions and given plenty of time to think.
We acknowledge that pedagogy theory is important but data is necessary to back it up. We evidence: that most people are able to learn survival literacy in 2-3 months of daily 20-30 minute lessons using the Global Dream program. This is far quicker than alternative literacy programs.
Along with the statistics, we share a few stories of people who’ve learnt to read using the Global Dream materials, and the difference it has made in their lives.
If you share our conviction about the need to spread literacy, but are curious to learn more, take a look at the projects we’re involved in or check out some free sample materials. If you’re already convinced and want to get involved, please get in touch with us as we’d love to work with you!