Do you think it is possible to teach someone and make them literate in just 30 hours? Well, now it is because of Dr. Sunita Gandhi. She’s an educationist in Lucknow who has been teaching poor kids who cannot afford to go to school, free of cost for the last five years. By making this possible she has made all of us so proud. So come let’s have a look at her journey and how she moved forward with this idea.
Dr. Sunita Gandhi belongs to the state of Lucknow and that is where she started this program. She has been doing this work free of cost for the last 5 years and wishes to carry it forward to 20 other states by the end of this year with the hope to reach out to 20 lakh out-of-school students. Along with being an educator, Dr. Sunita Gandhi is also an author, a researcher, an entrepreneur, and an innovator. She is also the founder of the Council for Global Education, USA, Dignity, Education Vision. She believes that the education system needs to be designed in a way that interests the child and makes them feel capable of getting success.
Global Dream Project – The initiative
According to reports, the program is driven by volunteers and solely focuses on the principle of finding out what the child already knows. By doing this they avoid wasting time by teaching the same thing and move on to the next lesson. From this, it can be concluded that the learning process is dynamic and depends on what each child needs instead of creating a uniform learning structure and process. As said by Dr. Sunita Gandhi the primary objective of Global Dream Shaala is to zero cost scale-up model that is effective and makes learning real every day. She also mentioned that this keeps the motivation of both the learner and teacher high.
The working of the Global Dream Project
Initially, 22 women from Lucknow’s Karauni village were trained under the pilot project to volunteer. Thereafter, these women became teachers and trained 180 other women to take literacy tests. Combining them all they trained around 800 women in the village who are now proficient in reading, writing, and numeracy. The Global Dream Toolkit costs Rs.50 per pack and is used as a curriculum to teach these kids. This helps them in reading and learning much faster compared to when other curriculums are followed. Another wish of hers while expanding this project is to provide functional literacy to children as education became inaccessible for lakhs of people during the pandemic.
The step-by-step process of the project
The process begins in a way where the student relates the pictures that are known to them with their first sounds and then combines two sounds to make real words. This helps the learner go from known pictures to known sounds to unknown letter symbols. This in turn helps in building mind connections instead of being solely dependent on rote learning. The volunteers play a key role in facilitating the learning process and with continuous training, the volunteers also become more educated and experienced. Their experience paves the pathway for expanding this initiative in other states as well. It also boosts the chances to pull the children up from basic literacy level to class 3 and 5 levels within the program.