Computer-based Functional Literacy Programme – Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal

Launched in February 2000 in the Beeramguda village in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh, this ground-breaking project seeks to combat illiteracy with a new approach to learning, using multimedia and flashcards to fortify the learning experience. The lessons focus on reading, are tailored to fit different languages and even dialects, and are based on the theories of cognition, language and communication. A typical class has between 15 and 20 people and is held in the evening hours. While early in the project most of the instructors were retired teachers, many of the classes are now conducted by those made literate by the project.

Today the CBFL project is operational in more than 1,000 centres in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, and it has helped more than 20,000 people learn the most basic of the three Rs: reading. More centres are in the process of being set up, which means that many more of India’s uneducated will have a shot at a better life. Tamil, Marathi, Hindi and Bengali versions of the programme are all now operating under the programme. Tata claims that if implemented properly, the project can make 90 per cent of India literate in three to five years. […]

Source: UNESCO Office in Bangkok: Literacy projects using ICT
Address : http://www.unescobkk.org/education/ict/online-resources/features/ict-and-literacy/literacy-projects-using-ict/
Date Visited: Tue Oct 16 2012 19:31:57 GMT+0200 (CEST)

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

‘Kaathadi’ is a YouTube channel collectively built by students and teachers from the tribal communities in the Nilgiris

The full story with more pictures | New Indian Express >>

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[*] Some clarifications on caste-related issues by reputed scholars

Understanding “caste” in the context of Indian democracy: The “Poona Pact of 1932”
“Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar differed over how to address caste inequities through the electoral system. Their exchanges led to the Poona Pact of 1932, which shaped the reservation system in India’s electoral politics. […]
Two prominent figures who have significantly contributed to this discourse are Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, and Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Father of the Constitution. The two stalwarts of Indian politics, while revered equally by the public, had contrasting views on the caste system. Their subsequent debates have shaped the course of Indian society and politics. While Gandhi denounced untouchability, he did not condemn the varna system, a social hierarchy based on occupation, for most of his life. He believed in reforming the caste system through the abolition of untouchability and by giving equal status to each occupation. On the other hand, BR Ambedkar, a Dalit himself, argued that the caste system disorganised and ‘demoralised Hindu society, reducing it to a collection of castes’. […] 
And yet, despite their differences, they developed an understanding to work for the betterment of the marginalised.” – Rishabh Sharma in “How Ambedkar and Gandhi’s contrasting views paved way for caste reservation” (India Today, 6 October 2023)
URL: https://www.indiatoday.in/history-of-it/story/ambedkar-gandhi-caste-system-poona-pact-1932-reservation-2445208-2023-10-06

~ ~ ~

“That upper caste groups should declare themselves to be OBCs [Other Backward Castes] and want to avail of the reservation policy is a pandering to caste politics of course, as also are caste vote-banks. It is partially a reflection of the insecurity that the neo-liberal market economy has created among the middle-class. Opportunities are limited, jobs are scarce and so far ‘development’ remains a slogan. There’s a lot that is being done to keep caste going in spite of saying that we are trying to erode caste. We are, of course, dodging the real issue. It’s true that there has been a great deal of exploitation of Dalit groups and OBC’s in past history; making amends or even just claiming that we are a democracy based on social justice demands far more than just reservations. The solution lies in changing the quality of life of half the Indian population by giving them their right to food, water, education, health care, employment, and social justice. This, no government so far has been willing to do, because it means a radical change in governance and its priorities.” – Romila Thapar  (Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University) interviewed by Nikhil Pandhi (Caravan Magazine, 7 October 2015)
URL: https://caravanmagazine.in/vantage/discipline-notion-particular-government-interview-romila-thapar 

~ ~ ~

Casteism is the investment in keeping the hierarchy as it is in order to maintain your own ranking, advantage, privilege, or to elevate yourself above others or keep others beneath you …. For this reason, many people—including those we might see as good and kind people—could be casteist, meaning invested in keeping the hierarchy as it is or content to do nothing to change it, but not racist in the classical sense, not active and openly hateful of this or that group.” – Book review by Dilip Mandal for Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (The Print, 23 August 2020)
URL: https://theprint.in/opinion/oprah-winfrey-wilkerson-caste-100-us-ceos-indians-wont-talk-about-it/487143/

~ ~ ~

“The theoretical debate on caste among social scientists has receded into the background in recent years. [However] caste is in no sense disappearing: indeed, the present wave of neo-liberal policies in India, with privatisation of enterprises and education, has strengthened the importance of caste ties, as selection to posts and educational institutions is less based on merit through examinations, and increasingly on social contact as also on corruption. There is a tendency to assume that caste is as old as Indian civilization itself, but this assumption does not fit our historical knowledge. To be precise, however, we must distinguish between social stratification in general and caste as a specific form. […]
From the early modern period till today, then, caste has been an intrinsic feature of Indian society. It has been common to refer to this as the ‘caste system’. But it is debatable whether the term ‘system’ is appropriate here, unless we simply take for granted that any society is a ‘social system’. First, and this is quite clear when we look at the history of distinct castes, the ‘system’ and the place various groups occupy within it have been constantly changing. Second, no hierarchical order of castes has ever been universally accepted […] but what is certain is that there is no consensus on a single hierarchical order.” – Harald Tambs-Lyche (Professor Emeritus, Université de Picardie, Amiens) in “Caste: History and the Present” (Academia Letters, Article 1311, 2021), pp. 1-2
URL: https://www.academia.edu/49963457

~ ~ ~

“There is a need for intercultural education. We all need to work together to bridge these divides not only between religions and castes but also regions. It is not correct to think that one part is better than the other. Some of the limitations of India as a whole are due to our common heritage, say the one that has restricted women from having a flourishing life for themselves.” – Prof. V. Santhakumar (Azim Premji University) in “On the so called North-South Divide in India” (personal blog post in Economics in Action, 13 April 2024)
URL: https://vsanthakumar.wordpress.com/2024/04/13/on-the-so-called-north-south-divide-in-india/

Learn more

Adivasi Academy & Museum of Adivasi Voice at Tejgadh

Appropriate education for Adivasi children – the Vidyodaya School model

Childhood | Children’s books | Childrens rights: UNICEF India | Safe search

Childrens rights: UNICEF India

Community facilities

Convention on the Rights of the Child: The children’s version | Unicef

eBook | Background guide for education

eBook | Free resources for rural education and health care – Unicef

eBook | “Where the mind is without fear”: Tagore, Gitanjali and the Nobel Prize

Education and literacy | A View of Higher Education in India | Right to education

eJournals, eBooks & reports

eLearning | “National development and the development of tribal communities are linked to each other”: Droupadi Murmu – 15th President of India

Endangered language

Forest Rights Act (FRA) | Illegal mining

Health and nutrition | Recommendations by the Expert Committee

Multi-lingual education & Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL)

Multilingual education is a pillar of intergenerational learning – Unesco

People’s Linguistic Survey of India | Volumes (PLSI) | PeoplesLinguisticSurvey.org

Rabindranath Tagore: a universal voice – Unesco

Residential school | Ekalavya

Resources for the classroom: Learning from and about India’s tribal communities, their culture and knowledge systems

RSV School & Museum of Santal Culture (West Bengal)

Scheduled Tribes (ST) | Success story

Tagore and rural culture

Tribal Children’s Right to Education in India

Unesco | Unicef | Unicef India | United Nations

United Nations International Days and Weeks

Video | “Nations don’t make us human – languages make us human”: Ganesh Devy

Women | Safe search | President Droupadi Murmu on women’s empowerment