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Posted on Nov 29, 02:14PM | IBNS
The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners World Vision and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), on Thursday announced five winning innovations from India for the global grant competition "All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development".
Commending the five winners, U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell said: "The United States believes the most strategic impact it can make in basic education is to address early grade reading as an outcome that is critical to sustain and ensure learning for children.
"I am happy that through the All Children Reading Grand Challenge, local organizations in India with innovative ideas are being encouraged to drive this effort."
Launched in November 2011, the All Children Reading Grand Challenge is a multi-year partnership, focusing on finding and funding game-changing innovations with the potential to dramatically improve reading skills among primary grade children in the developing world.
Of the 32 global winners, five are implementing activities in India - Pratham Education Foundation, PlanetRead, Pragya, Sesame Workshop Initiatives India, and the American Institutes for Research.
Each of these organizations will be implementing innovative and scalable activities both inside and outside the classroom that are expected to produce concrete reading outcomes over the next two years.
Since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, developing countries including India have moved nearly 28 million children into classrooms by abolishing school fees, building new facilities, and ensuring that every child has access to school.
However, the quality of education and limited learning at the primary level remain a serious challenge.
In India, the 2011 Annual Status of Education Report revealed that basic reading skills have shown a marked decline in many states across North India.
Powell was joined by eminent filmmaker Nandita Das, Australian Deputy High Commissioner Dr. Lachlan Strahan, senior leadership from the winning organizations, NGOs, donors, academia, Government of India officials, and private sector representatives at the event.